China is making progress in the development of Printed Electronics by establishing an Industrial Institute of Printed Electronics in September 2013. The institute, the first of its kind in China, was launched from scratch with a funding of 50,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately US$8,220,000) as registration from both the local municipal government and the high-tech industrial park in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province. It was promised by the local government that the total investment to the institute will be over 100,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately US$16,440,000) in the first phase within few years and much more investment will come to speed up the development in the second phase.
In the opening ceremony, the institute was inaugurated by Municipal Party committee secretary Mr. Yan Li and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Ms. Zou Jing. Mr. Yan Li also expressed that the Chang Zhou city will continuously give strong support to the development of Printed Electronics. He believes that the printed electronics industry will have great future and broad market prospect.
Dr. Zhang Xiachang, inventor of SoftBatteryTM and one of the founders of Enfucell. has been appointed as the dean of the institute. Dr. Zhang also established the Kunshan Printed Electronics Ltd. (www.ksfpe.com) two years ago, which is specializing in the paper battery technology and focusing on its commercialization. The printed paper battery is a power source for low-energy power consuming applications that can be made in various shapes with different sizes depending on customers' needs. Besides the printed paper battery the company has developed a battery assisted passive RFID tags with or without micro temperature sensors.
The institute, along with a fund company and technology & product companies located in the industrial park, constitute a printed electronics consortium, which is aiming to serve as a foundation for the development of state-of-the-art printed electronics and to provide comprehensive support for its marketing in China and in the world. The fund company is named Printed Electronics Fund Ltd. only focusing on the investment of printed electronics technology and planning to have its company in Chang Zhou city. The registered fund is 300,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately US$49M) and can be increased to 1,000,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately US$162M) very soon in needed.
A ubiquitous production line for printed electronics will be implemented in the institute. The primary responsibility of the institute itself is to establish a platform for printed electronics tests, prototypes including a certain amount production for sales, and to provide printed electronics companies with technical support. The institute will additionally help shorten time to market (TTM) for those relatively mature products. The research focus will be centered on the integration of printed electronics applications and roll to roll mass production.
The institute has signed four cooperation agreements with leading teams from Chinese Institutes and Universities to jointly develop the following subjects 1) the development and manufacturing of roll-to-roll production line with the aiming to produce the final printed electronics product from functional inks and substrates in a line; 2) printed sensors; 3) printed electronics processes and 4) printed smart labels etc. These teams are the Institute of semiconductors in Chinese Academy of Sciences, FuDan University, Beijing Printing Institute, and Institute of Nano-tech and Nano-bionics. The institute is now also discussing with a few national level institutes from Europe for the commercialization of their technology in China.
The first batch of companies in the printed electronics industrial estate due to be built inside of the consortium include a sensor and smart RFID tag company, a flexible thin film transistor and smart tag company, an inkjet print head fabrication company, flexible display company, and intelligent smart label company from China and Europe.
The institute is encouraging you to work with us. We have plenty of open positions available. You can send your applications to firstname.lastname@example.org. The institute web page is under the development now and will be available by the end of this year. We do welcome experts in the field of printed electronics to communicate and exchange with us. The institute is also proactively seeking worldwide cooperation with organizations and companies in this industry as well as thinking-outside-the-box individuals for the purpose of conducting top-notch research and commercialization of prospective technology/products.
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