LOPE-C 2010 Shows Possibilities for PE

With the conclusion of the three-day Large-area, Organic and Printed Electronics Convention (LOPE-C) conference and exhibition held last week at Messe Frankfurt, the Organic Electronics Association (OE-A), the conference’s organizer, attendees and exhibitors alike are considering where the printed electronics (PE) stands.

Celebrating the LOPE-C ribbon-cutting are, from left, Andy Hannah of Plextronics and vice chairman, OE-A; Prof. Dr. Reinhard Baumann of TU Chemnitz; Wolfgang Mildner of PolyIC and chairman, OE-A; and Dr. Carl-Christian Buhr of the European Commission.
There is a strong sense that the new technologies showcased at LOPE-C, the increasing interest shown by end-users and the move toward commercialization indicates that PE is moving forward. As a result of the show’s success, the OE-A has already announced that LOPE-C 2011 will take place from June 28-30, 2011 on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.

“LOPE-C 2010 was a great success,” said Dr. Klaus Hecker, managing director of the Organic Electronic Association (OE-A). “With 850 international attendees (up 30% from last year), more than 180 high-level conference presentations from 30 countries and 89 exhibitors (up 50%), LOPE-C is growing rapidly in all respects. The results exceeded our ambitious targets.”

“We have received very positive feedback from attendees, exhibitors and conference speakers,” Dr. Hecker said. “They are extremely pleased with the organization, the number of contacts at their booths, quality and content of the conference and the overall attendance. Our concept of providing a combination of a large exhibition featuring all of the major industry players and an international high-level conference covering the full range of the latest scientific results to products and commercialization was well received.”

“LOPE-C was a great success, with more than 850 registered attendees and an exhibition twice as big,” added Wolfgang Mildner, managing director of PolyIC and chairman of the OE-A. “The conference covered all the important topics from scientific to business topics in a well structured way for everyone to select their favorite topics.”

Enfucell’s Risto Huvila, center, receives the best presentation award in the LOPE-C Investor Forum from Dr. David Fyfe, left, of Sumitomo Chemical, and OE-A chairman Wolfgang Mildner of PolyIC.
“In my view, LOPE-C was a big success in terms of attendance and exhibitors,” said Dr. David Fyfe, who served as chairman and CEO of Cambridge Display Technology, and now is a senior advisor for Sumitomo’s PLED business. “There was a very good quality of papers, although one would have wished for more ‘customer’ papers as opposed to ‘provider’ papers. I cannot pick a single highlight except maybe the nine papers from new companies looking for financing, all with ideas which would have attracted funding with ease a couple of years ago but today the going is tough indeed.”

As a speaker and attendee, Stephen Su, general director, IEK of ITRI said he was delighted to attend LOPE-C for the first time and be able to give a plenary session talk.

“The breadth/depth of various programs exceeded my original expectation,” Su said. “I was able to network with people from different fields during the three-day conference. If there would be more representation from Asian companies, it would make the conference even better.”

PE manufacturers said that the conference showcased the changes that are coming in the market.

“LOPE-C was primarily a scientific event, with high level experts presenting their papers,” said Risto Huvila, COO, global customer operations, Enfucell Ltd. “For a commercial person, I found it challenging to follow them, but I was able to grasp the big picture of the field.”

“The enormous increase in attendance, number of exhibitors, and even press coverage, signals that printed electronics is ready for prime time, and that LOPE-C has established itself as the international show in this market, transcending its previous regional character,” said Davor Sutija, executive vice president, Thin Film Electronics.

“Our sense at LOPE-C this year is that a greater percentage of the attendees have progressed beyond initial concept testing and are now trying to resolve specific challenges in their own internal electronics development programs,” said Stan Farnsworth, vice president of marketing for NovaCentrix. “The conference presentations reflected this, as well as the numerous conversations we had with visitors to our booth. Because of the excellent booth traffic, I was only able to attend a limited number of the technical presentations, but I saw several interesting developments in inks, substrates, processing and devices.”

“LOPE-C was very interesting, referring to the program,” said Jürgen Neuber, managing director of Neuber GmbH & Co.KG. “The conferences were filled with new interesting themes and it was possible to gain insight of new innovative technologies. For us it was a good platform to get in touch with other exhibitors and guests for making business in the future.”

“PolyIC was a gold sponsor of LOPE-C 2010, and the convention was a great success for us,” said Dr. Wolfgang Clemens, head of applications for PolyIC. “We got great attention from attendees from all over the world for our printed electronic products in the fields of printed RFID, printed smart objects, transparent conductive films and printed memories. We registered a huge increase of contacts and customer discussions compared to last year.”

Highlights of LOPE-C

Show attendees noted that one of the major highlights of LOPE-C is the increased interest in new applications as well as commercialization.

“The fact that the industry is moving from lab-to-fab became very clear at LOPE-C,” Hecker said. “More and more companies are going into production at a larger scale. It is an important move for this young industry, and many products such as OPV, OLED lighting, sensors and smart packaging were presented in the conference and the exhibition. This coincides with the growing interest in LOPE-C and topics as such from the end-user side.”

Mildner noted several highlights at the show, including the OE-A demonstrators, like the interactive raffle ticket or the OE-A flag. “These really got a lot of attention, as well as some inspiring talks from the international leaders in the field,” Mildner said.

“One highlight was the electronic raffle ticket, which we performed as OE-A demonstrator together with several OE-A partners,” Clemens added. “Here everybody could see and feel printed electronics in an interactive way.”

Su said that he felt that some of the plenary session speeches were very forward looking. “I truly wish there was more time for Q&A at the end,” Su added. “The chance for information exchanges and networking really made this conference very worthwhile.”

Messe Frankfurt.
“I think everything was good,” Neuber said. “One highlight was to get a knowledge of a lot of people all over the world and getting new inspirations for making and developing business.”

“For the first time, there seems to be interest in bringing technologies together to form coherent systems – combining display, memory, and energy in the same device, for example,” Sutija said.

“I can say that a highlight for us is always when we have customers bring us samples for processing at the event, and we see marked performance improvements there on the show floor with our tools,” Farnsworth said. “We had several functional lab sessions, and in each case we saw promising results. We were also able to renew existing relationships, as well as make new introductions with leading organizations. LOPE-C was an excellent opportunity for us to expand European awareness of our products and capabilities, and we greatly appreciate the support we received from the organizers and the facility staff.”

“The real interest of visitors in our printed power sources at the booth was surprisingly high and we were able to initiate a good number of serious cooperation discussions,” Huvila said.

For Huvila and Enfucell, LOPE-C was particularly memorable, as the company received the best presentation award in the LOPE-C Investor Forum in Frankfurt, Germany.

“We appreciate it highly, especially because the panel consisted of top level investment and technology people,” Huvila said. “Of course it was a great honor to be the first recipient ever to have received this award.”