The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canadian Minister of State (Science and Technology), along with the National Research Council of Canada and industry partners, announced a new program and an industrial consortium that will develop interactive products for consumers, by adding electronic intelligence capabilities to printed materials. This will be made possible by creating new functional inks, printing and imprinting processes, and electronic circuits. Everyday uses of this technology by Canadians include, drug packaging that tracks dosage history and food labeling that tells you when your food has spoiled.
"This new program and consortium will position Canada as a global leader in printable electronics," said the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "Our government is working closely with partners across a variety of sectors, including academia and industry, to support the development of amazingly thin, flexible, and inexpensive electronic solutions, benefitting Canadians in countless ways by improving our quality of life and leading to the growth of our economy."
The Printable Electronics program, a $40-million NRC investment over five years, will develop cutting-edge technologies and light-weight electronic devices for a smarter world. For example, Canadians will benefit from innovations such as smart labels reducing shipping costs, smart drug packaging improving health care delivery, new anti-counterfeiting measures increasing bank note security, and printed antennas for radio frequency identification.
"Printable electronics technology allows everyday objects to interact with customers in ways that were unimaginable five years ago," said Dan Wayner, Vice-President of the Emerging Technologies division at the National Research Council of Canada. "It will lead to a revolution in the manufacturing of high-volume, interactive consumer products and security documents. At every level, printable electronics will revolutionize the world we live in."
The consortium, a $16-million contribution over five years, is pooling resources from Canadian companies and research centers to provide strategic research and development, technical services, and test design and manufacturing techniques. It will also help industrial clients solve the technical gaps and commercial challenges to developing new products, and will provide a robust technology platform from which other innovations can be pursued.
Source and top image: National Research Council Canada
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