COLAE (Commercialisation Clusters for Organic and Large Area Electronics) was a pan European project involving eighteen partners from twelve countries. The project focused on the commercialisation of organic electronics technology through the creation of industry clusters.
Organic electronics is an emerging technology that opens up a host of design opportunities and will lead to the creation of a range of future electronic applications in key market sectors such as print and packaging, healthcare, construction, automotive and aerospace. The ability to develop flexible form factors increases the freedom for designers to embed technology and functionality into their products, creating the opportunity for new, innovative components that are wireless, smarter, interactive, conformable, thinner, lightweight, and rugged, and which are able to blend more easily into the surrounding environment.
This new way of manufacturing electronics will give rise to a wide range of novel applications such as flexible displays for mobile devices, smart therapeutic bandages for managing and monitoring recovery of wounds, wearable electronics for monitoring and improving performance, wireless medical devices for rapid diagnostics using printed sensors, conformable lighting, and intelligent packaging for consumer goods and industrial products, to name but a few.
The organic and large are electronics (OLAE) market is expected to grow rapidly, with leading forecasters predicting a worldwide industry worth up to $96 bn by 2020.
The COLAE programme was a collaboration between Europe’s leading OLAE organisations.
COLAE was created to enhance the design process throughout the industry and to get all universities in the field to work alongside the research institutes with a view beyond research towards commercialisation. The collaboration allowed Europe to remain at the forefront of this key technology area, whilst driving future advancements in highly lucrative markets.
COLAE provided European organisations access to an unparalleled knowledge base and the know-how to implement printable electronics technology.
COLAE has harnessed the resources and expertise of its project partners and made it available to the existing organic electronics industry and new organisations entering the market. Members experienced high quality training, workshops and feasibility support alongside access to the best pilot production and manufacturing facilities in Europe.
The project connected players within the industry to create and develop a pan-European supply chain that delivered tangible value and benefits for its members. The COLAE project also engaged a number of end users for further collaborative research and development projects.
“This COLAE project has demonstrated that the benefit of shared world class knowledge, opening up the best possible opportunity for commercial success for our industry.
The opportunity to collaborate with CPI in the COLAE project was interesting for me because through collaboration, we had scale, and scale is absolutely essential to move forward to commercialisation.
What for me is central to CPI is the principle of starting with the idea and ending up with a profitable business. Our role in the commercialisation of organic electronics must be to add value, to de-risk and to assist in commercialising products. And this is precisely what CPI does.”Ilkka Kaisto
Director, PrintoCent, VTT Finland