Dresden, Germany - Production to start with 140 workers in 2008
Dresden, Europe's leading research and microelectronics location, has once more won the day in global competition between top locations. Its latest success: the British company Plastic Logic Limited, a spin-out from Cambridge University, is currently building a new production site for a total of 96 million euro between the AMD microchip fab and Dresden airport. From 2008, a new generation of flexible displays, known as "electronic paper displays" (e-paper displays) will be produced in series at the factory; a global first. Toppan Printing and Sony are among others preparing to produce flexible electrophoretic displays with printed or thin film transistors as backplane drivers. Toppan will use inorganic transistors whereas Sony will use organic ones but neither company has yet announced timeframes for volume production.
On 23 May, the foundation stone was laid in the presence of the State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Transport, Construction and Urban Development, Dr Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, the Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs and Labour, Thomas Jurk, City of Dresden Councillor for Economic Affairs mayor Dirk Hilbert, the Chief Operating Officer of Plastic Logic GmbH, Dr John Mills, and Dr Volkmar von Obstfelder, Chairman of the Managing Board for TLG IMMOBILIEN GmbH.
TLG Immobilien GmbH has been commissioned by Plastic Logic to construct a building complex with a production hall and office space on 8,500 square metres at Dresden's Airportpark. The production hall is planned to be completed in August 2007. The office wing and the cleanroom are to be handed over in December 2007. Plastic Logic GmbH will be taking over the factory on lease. With 140 workers, more than one million displays are already to be produced in 2008. The light, flexible, extremely energy-saving displays will enable entirely new applications, such as electronic books and electronic newspapers. The thin, robust e-paper combines the advantages of the computer monitor and paper. Experts are already predicting a worldwide demand of 41.6 million units in 2010.
Plastic Logic Limited was formed in 2000 as a spin-out from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory. In just ten years, intensive research produced 58 patents and patent applications. For the production of the first generation of flexible displays, the company raised more than 100 million US dollars (74.4 million euro) of equity finance from Oak Investment Partners, Tudor Investment Corporation and Amadeus Capital Partners, among others.
At the laying of the foundation stone, Dr Engelbert Lütke Daldrup, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Transport, Construction and Urban Development, said: "East Germany is attractive for foreign investors. This can be seen from the English company Plastic Logic's commitment in Dresden. In this way, this location is once more proving its attractiveness and expertise in the microelectronics sector. It is the German government's declared aim to further support economic dynamism in East Germany by ramping up investment, promoting the creation of new jobs. With this in mind, the merger of the Industrial Investment Council and Invest In Germany into a successful society for inward investment and location publicity is the right step to help us keep up at an international level, now and in future."
The Saxon State Minister for Economic Affairs and Labour, Thomas Jurk, referred to Saxony's strengthened position as a microelectronics location: "Plastic Logic is adding the entirely new technological field of 'printed electronics' to the Saxon microelectronics sector. This production site will be the first of its kind in the world. This fills us with happiness and pride and will draw further international attention towards Saxony and a highly innovative sector of the microelectronics industry. For this reason we will do everything to make this 'Centre of Excellence' develop as well as possible."
Dresden's Councillor for Economic Affairs, mayor Dirk Hilbert, highlighted the Saxon capital's successful industrial location policy: "The trademarks of Dresden's industrial location policy are high professional qualifications and an openness towards innovation among our people; discretion, expertise and fast decision-making in approval procedures. This took place successfully during Plastic Logic's establishment here, within six weeks."
According to Dr John Mills, Chief Operating Officer of Plastic Logic GmbH, the main plus point for the economic development promoters in Saxony and Dresden was their promise to construct the factory within a very short time. This, he said, gave them a huge lead over the competition. Mills went on to say that they did not have much time to put the company's head start in terms of innovation into practice in series production, meaning that every day less before production began saved them real money.
"In view of this, it is of great importance that we can guarantee quick action as a full service provider and constructor with the ImmoLeasing Plus construction and financing programme, which is eligible for financial support" explained Dr Volkmar von Obstfelder, Managing Director of TLG IMMOBILIEN GmbH. He added that the programme ideally suited the needs of the production business. Near the new factory, at its industrial estate "data.base" by Dresden Airport, TLG IMMOBILIEN GmbH owns more building land which is well connected to the traffic network - right at the heart of Silicon Saxony.
Source Top Image: Plastic Logic