European Collaboration to Include Everyday Items in the IoT
News May 25, 2017
The Necomada (Nano-Enabled Conducting Materials Accelerating Device Applicability) project, which involves the collaboration of 13 partners, incorporates advanced functional materials to develop customised inks and flexible adhesives that are compatible with high volume manufacturing platforms, with an emphasis on low-cost production. These materials will support high-speed, roll-to-roll integration and large area electronics to address the IoT opportunities. Necomada also aims to deliver a supply chain that enables future commercialisation and includes a wide range of end-users to ensure its commercial viability within a range of industries including: apparel, healthcare, printing, domestic appliances, smart packaging, and fast-moving consumer goods.
There is a need for mass production of low-cost printable electronics to enable the development of flexible electronic devices that are compatible with a wide range of consumer goods, not only products with a rigid form. This will be achieved by enabling roll-to-roll fabrication: the process of manufacturing electronics on a roll of flexible material. Existing production lines utilise expensive materials, and are limited to the integration of a single component per tag. The Necomada project will advance material development to reduce the final system costs, and trial them on a roll-to-roll pilot line located at the Centre for Process Innovation with novel capability to assemble more complex systems at the throughputs and cost points demanded by high-volume applications. The pilot facilities being developed will be available for use by industrial partners to trial their innovative product and material solutions. Initial target applications for demonstrative products include Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.
The Necomada project is all about the IoT and works towards the movement to the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, which describes the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Necomada involves the collaboration of thirteen partners: the Centre for Process Innovation Ltd (CPI), Henkel Electronic Materials (HEM), PragmatIC Printing Ltd, Teknologisk Institut (DTI), Contitech Elastomer-Beschichtungen, Nanogap Sub-NM-Powder SA, Thomas Swan & Co Ltd, BSH Electrodomesticos Espana SA, Henkel KGaA, Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Ltd, Fraunhofer FhG, Tyoeterveyslaitos (FIOH) and NXP Semiconductors.
The project will use and build on CPI’s open access pilot facilities at the UK’s National Centre for Printable Electronics to develop hybrid integration systems for printed electronics as well as new materials development. Hybrid systems combine the strengths of two complimentary technologies, large area electronics to enable the flexibility and silicon CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) integrated circuits for high performance. Necomada’s complete supply chain also supports developments from pilot scale production, with manufacturing companies such as Henkel, BSH and Crown Packaging involved from the beginning of the project to ensure that the end application requirements can be met.
“PragmatIC is delighted to be working with the world-leading Necomada partners to advance NFC products into the marketplace, based on our proprietary flexible ICs,” said Richard Price, Chief Technology Officer at PragmatIC. “We are already investing in our FlexLogIC “fab-in-a-box” to facilitate fully-automated, high-throughput production of flexible ICs. This fits naturally into the supply chain for a wide variety of intelligent packaging solutions and neatly complements the activities within the Necomada project.”
“It is a great opportunity and a strategic advantage to BSH Electrodomésticos España to collaborate with leading companies in our sector. The Necomada project allows us to participate in and be at the forefront of these new technology developments, as well as make use of the end products,” said Jorge Alamán Aguilar, Innovation and Technology Management Leader, BSH Electrodomésticos España. “Not only will the final user benefit from this technology, but all other users that are in contact with the product during its life cycle will benefit from enhanced technical assistance, product production and recycling.”
“We are proud to be a part of the Necomada project, a cutting-edge collaboration,” said Olaf Lammerschop, Innovation Manager, Henkel KGaA. “Being involved from the start of the project will enable us to better serve the needs of our customers. To address the IoT, Necomada will bring innovative electronics into our everyday products.”
“CPI is delighted to be coordinating the project Necomada, which aligns with its core strategy of taking innovation through to commercialisation. We believe that the unique blend of skills and capabilities within our consortium will enable us to develop materials that will support high-speed, roll-to-roll integration of hybrid and large area electronics. This will unlock many of the opportunities that the Internet of Things presents to a wide range of stakeholders,” said Jon Helliwell, Business Development Director, Centre for Process Innovation.
Analytical Tool Predicts Disease-Causing GenesNews
Predicting genes that can cause disease due to the production of truncated or altered proteins that take on a new or different function, rather than those that lose their function, is now possible thanks to an international team of researchers that has developed a new analytical tool to effectively and efficiently predict such candidate genes.
Researchers Move Closer to Completely Optical Artificial Neural NetworkNews
Researchers have shown that it is possible to train artificial neural networks directly on an optical chip. The significant breakthrough demonstrates that an optical circuit can perform a critical function of an electronics-based artificial neural network and could lead to less expensive, faster and more energy efficient ways to perform complex tasks such as speech or image recognition.
Big Data Study Targets Genomic Dark Matter from Ocean Floor to Gut FloraNews
An international team led by computational biologist Fran Supek at IRB Barcelona develop a machine learning method to predict unknown gene functions of microbes.The system examines and compares ‘big data’ available on the metagenomes of human and environmental microbiomes.READ MORE