Winners: Europe 2011

IDTechEx Printed Electronics Europe 2011 Awards Announced

The annual printed electronics award winners were announced on April 5th at the IDTechEx awards dinner on the Riverdream boat cruising down the river Rhine in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The awards recognize outstanding progress in the development and commercialization of printed electronics, an industry that produces a huge amount of technical innovation which will be used in many products.

The entries were judged by an eminent panel comprising of:
  1. Professor Iain McCulloch,Imperial College London
  2. Professor Günter Huebner, Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart
  3. Professor Elvira Fortunato, Uni of Lisbon Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia
  4. Professor Edgar Doersam, Director, Technische Universitaet Darmstadt
  5. Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx
The award ceremony is part of the IDTechEx event Printed Electronics Europe 2011 - which was attended by over 970 people from 37 countries - Europe's largest event on the topic.

In summary, the winners for each category are as follows:
  1. Best Technical Development Materials Award : MIT
  2. Best Technical Development Manufacturing Award : Coatema
  3. Academic R&D Award : Joanneum Research
  4. Best Product Development Award : Printechnologics
  5. Best Commercialization Award : Blue Spark
  6. Best in Show Booth Award : Printechnologics
  7. Best in Show Poster Award : University of Ljubljana

Best technical development materials award

MIT won this award for their work on paper photovoltaics. Large-area photovoltaic (PV) arrays are vapor-printed directly on ubiquitous paper surfaces (~0.001 g cm-2, <40µm thick). The paper PV arrays produce >50V and power common electronic displays in ambient indoor lighting, even after tortuous flexing and folding. Key to this breakthrough performance is the integration of conformal,transparent and ITO-free anodes onto paper by oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD). In a single step, oCVD synthesizes conducting polymers from their monomers, produces printed patterns through shadow masking, and covalently grafts the polymer device layer to the substrate.

By avoiding heat and solvents, the MIT polymer vapour printing invention has enabled organic solar cell manufacture on entirely new classes of substrates including tissue, tracing, and wax papers; newsprint; textiles; and even plastic food wrap.

Best technical development manufacturing award

Coatema has developed the Click & Coat concept for more flexibility regarding scale-up and integration of (new) processes, enlargement or replacement of existing components through process or business developments. The Click & Coat concept is based on Coatema´s modular coating head expertise but allows changes of the whole pilot line configuration. Meanwhile more than 36 different modules are available e.g. different modules for winding, coating, printing, drying, sintering, UV, etc. Modules can be connected or even disassembled very easily to meet the most demanding performance requirements.

Academic R&D award

Joanneum Research
Joanneum Research has demonstrated the low-cost printing of a smart active-matrix sensor array which only uses five functional inks. The result is an all-printed flexible multi-component input device, which can be controlled by hand and finger motion.

The all-printed sensor input device is composed of three parts, (i) the sensor itself, (ii) a PEDOT:PSS-based electrochemical transistor as the read-out unit and (iii) an electrochromic display on the same material base for visualization. The sensor works as follows: Due to the pyro and piezoelectric sensitivity of the ferroelectric polymer a change in temperature or pressure generates charges that give rise to a voltage response at the electrodes of the sensor capacitor.

Since one of its electrodes is connected to the gate of a transistor, the voltage response controls the transistor's current and induces complete on/off switching. This switching can be visualized by the connected 7-segment display. Thus, three device classes (sensor, transistor, display) are printed and monolithically integrated on the same flexible substrate by using only five inks: P(VDF-TrFE), PEDOT:PSS, carbon, a polymeric electrolyte and SU-8.

Best product development award

Printechnologics won this award for development of "AirCode Touch". Aircode Touch is an invisible identification tag printed on paper, cardboard, foil or labels. It can be read by using existing multi touch displays. That way, every paper printed product turns into a carrier of doubt-free, verifiable data. The identification tags are made of several layers of conductive structures and logic arrays. They are produced entirely in an unmodified regular offset printing machine and can be produced at almost any printer worldwide under Printechnologics license. With this, Printechnologics' customers do not need to change anything in their regular supply chain for their print products.

Best commercialization award

Blue Spark, NTERA, CalPoly, SiCal, Canvas, Ricoh
Cal Poly was invited to produce a printed electronics cover for the February 2011 issue of Canvas Magazine to jumpstart Cal Poly's Master of Science Degree initiative in Printed Electronics and Functional Imaging. The result was an electronic magazine cover using completely printed electronics.

This break-through cover design uses a printed electrochromic ink from NTERA and a Blue Spark 1.5 volt printed battery attached to the carrier material, to overtly accomplish what traditional high-quality printing has done for centuries—engage the reader with a multi-sensory experience.

Instead of titillating the senses with vibrant colours and soft-touch varnishes, this cover uses "coins" which reveal additional information when triggered by the reader's touch. The net result is a highly engaging cover that enables interactivity through the careful implementation of printed electronics.

Best in show booth award

This award was chosen by attendees at the event, who voted for what they thought were the most impressive exhibitors.

Using full printed electronics voting cards provided by Stora Enso and VTT, Printechnologics was chosen as overall best booth.

Best in show poster award

University of Ljubljana
Dr.Ursa Opara from University of Ljubljana won for best in show poster for her clear and concise poster explaining how dye-sensitized solar cells are the most promising of inexpensive solar cells and her achievement of 10.2% efficiency.

The independent panel of judges comprised of:

Submissions were judged by a panel made up of four independent experts. For more details please see
IDTechEx would like to thank all companies that submitted their entries for the above awards, without which they would have never been as successful and by now, a regular feature in the Printed Electronics series of events. We encourage companies to submit applications for future events, to gain due recognition for their work.
The next IDTechEx Printed electronics awards will be held at the USA event, in Santa Clara, CA, USA on Nov 30- Dec 1. For more details see .
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