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Supporting PragmatIC to deliver electronics in everyday objects

CPI helped PragmatIC to accelerate product development, providing open access to CPI’s state-of-the-art facilities and expert knowledge, as well as collaborating on publicly funded R&D projects.

CPI has supported PragmatIC through a mix of infrastructure, technical resources and business services. CPIs flexible approach has helped us adapt at each stage as we progressed from lab-scale R&D through to production using our automated FlexLogIC® system. Our relationship with CPI has been crucial to PragmatIC’s development and remains a key part of our strategy for the coming years.” 

Dr Richard Price, CTO, PragmatIC

The Company

PragmatIC is a world leader in ultra-low cost flexible electronics, enabling the potential for trillions of smart objects’ that can engage with consumers and their environments. PragmatIC delivers flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs) that are thinner than a human hair and can be easily embedded into everyday items. PragmatIC’s unique FlexLogIC® fab-in-a-box system allows low capital, high volume and distributed production of FlexICs.

PragmatIC provides the opportunity to add new functionality, as well as extending proven applications such as RFID and NFC, into mass market applications previously prohibited by the cost of traditional silicon ICs. PragmatIC’s novel technology is being adopted by a growing base of global brands across diverse markets, including the retail, pharmaceutical and security sectors.

Founded in 2010, PragmatIC currently employs over 70 staff across two locations in the UK. Headquartered in Cambridge, the company’s production facility is based at CPI’s National Printable Electronics Centre at NETPark, in Sedgefield, County Durham. PragmatIC has a number of investors in the business including Cambridge Innovation Capital, Arm Holdings and Avery Dennison.

Inputs

  • Provided open access to CPI’s state-of-the-art facilities
  • Shared expert technical and industry knowledge
  • Collaborated on publicly funded R&D projects

Outputs

  • Accelerated PragmatIC’s technology development
  • Aided formation of robust production methodology
  • Fast tracked pilot production capability

Outcomes

  • Enabled rapid growth of PragmatIC’s North East manufacturing team
  • Expedited the launch of the FlexLogIC® fab-in-a-box for mass production
  • Supported expanding business resource requirements

The Challenge

CPI started working with PragmatIC in 2012. PragmatIC was keen to develop its basic proof-of-concept process for making transistors on plastic into commercially viable products. During this early stage PragmatIC needed access to the infrastructure and support to advance its novel technology and carry out concept process scale-up.

How CPI helped

Over the years, CPI has worked closely alongside PragmatIC to accelerate product development, providing open access to CPI’s state-of-the-art facilities and expert knowledge, as well as collaborating on publicly funded R&D projects. This relationship has helped PragmatIC to significantly increase the reliability and production throughput of the FlexIC process. The technology has now developed into an automated end-to-end process and gone beyond pilot production. PragmatIC has obtained the technological results and market readiness data necessary for manufacturing in mass market volumes.

Summary

CPI has made a significant contribution to PragmatIC’s progress over the last few years. Indeed, proximity to CPI was a key factor in PragmatIC’s decision to base the new FlexLogIC® fab-in-a-box in the North East. The companies will continue to collaborate closely in the future, to enable PragmatIC to carry out further research and development work to test new processes and improve those already in place in the low risk, supportive and innovative environment of CPI.