German scientists break record, draw high-tech investments
Dresden-based Heliatek recently broke the efficiency record for organic photovoltaic cells, posting a new efficiency level of 8.3 percent. Organic LEDs, organic photovoltaics, and printed circuits are just a few of the areas in which German scientists and companies are making international headlines.
This level of innovation is drawing international investors to Germany. Germany Trade & Invest will have representatives at this year's Printed Electronics USA from November 30 - December 2 in Santa Clara, California, to share investment opportunities in Europe's top printed and organic electronics location.
Heliatek's latest innovation is an example of the commercialization potential of German research. The company, which was jointly founded by the Technical University of Dresden and the University of Ulm, has reached a record that is likely to improve current products in the pipeline. The research location is also appropriate, as Germany represents roughly 50 percent of all photovoltaic installations worldwide.
Breakthroughs Across Industry Segments
The total market volume for printed electronics worldwide is expected to grow exponentially from a current market value of USD 1.9 billion to USD 55 billion by 2020. Germany's recent breakthroughs are not limited to organic photovoltaics. In the field of organic LEDs (OLEDs), Osram Opto Semiconductors is moving technology forward and building the first pilot line for OLEDs in Germany. The company is the first to launch an OLED product for designer lighting.
Germany's printed electronics industry is creating opportunities for foreign companies as well. American giant 3M has recently invested in the German printed electronics innovator Printechnologics, which has pioneered a new printed circuit application on paper that can significantly reduce costs. Printechnologics, founded by German researchers in Chemnitz, is a testament to the commercialization potential of research in Germany.
Generous R&D Funding
Companies are drawn to Germany's high-tech industries because of the country's reputation for engineering, productivity, and specialized products. At the same time, generous funding for high-tech research is available. For organic electronics, R&D projects currently receive approximately EUR 160 million in funding provided by Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research and industry players.
Germany also facilitates access to knowledge through networks and partnering opportunities. The Organic Electronics Association (OE-A) in Frankfurt hosts a global network with more than 120 players in organic electronics. Additionally, Heidelberg-based InnovationLab coordinates a forum for research activities in printed and organic electronics that allows member companies to exchange ideas. Members represent the entire value chain, from researchers to material suppliers and product manufacturers.
Industry clusters help companies and researchers to pool costs, such as Dresden-based Organic Electronics Saxony, which is described as Europe's largest cluster for organic semiconductor R&D and manufacturing. This cluster provides access to a skilled workforce and proximity to Germany's microelectronics players.
Internationally renowned research institutes like the Fraunhofer Society closely cooperate with industry players along the value chain. Austrian lighting manufacturer Zumtobel, for example, formed the joint venture LEDON with Dresden-based Fraunhofer IPMS and now benefits from the proximity to the Organic Electronics Saxony cluster.
Germany Trade & Invest representatives will be on hand at this year's Printed Electronics USA to assist companies looking to expand their business and research activities to Germany.
Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business activities in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to enter foreign markets.
Source: Germany Trade and Invest
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Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Printed Electronics USA 2019 on 20 - 21 Nov 2019 at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, USA hosted by IDTechEx.