The Innovation Award was given to Thin Film Electronics, ASA, for the NFC Smart Label. This small label can store and sense data such as time and temperature, and wirelessly communicate the information to internet-connected devices via NFC technology. The label is produced with Thinfilm’s printed-dopant polysilicon (PDPs) technology on a roll-to-roll process, making it 1/10th the cost of alternative sensing technologies. This price point enables new capability in many consumable, disposable and perishable goods and brings item-level intelligence and mobile connectivity to temperature-sensitive goods. The Innovation Award judging criterion include the products design and ingenuity, potential for broad market potential, and must have been on the market during 2014.
The R&D Award recognized the accomplishments of a team of people who lead the creation of Barix, developed by PNNL and Vitex Systems, and eventually commercialized by Samsung Cheil Industries. Barix’s basic principles have been critical to a new generation of curved and flexible OLED displays which are just emerging on the marketplace. The benefits of OLED displays (reduction of weight and thickness) for mobile electronics were delayed with the absence of a flexible, transparent thin film barrier to protect moisture- and oxygen-sensitive materials, a problem mostly overcome with the creation of Barix. Key people recognized included Dr. Gordon Graff (PNNL), Dr. Lorenza Moro (Vitex), Dr. Xi Chu (Vitex), Dr. Martin Rosenblum (Vitex) and Dr. Robert Jan Visser (Vitex).
The Technology Leadership in Education Award honors outstanding contributions to the flexible and printed electronics industry through education. This year’s award went to Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department for the establishment of a Certificate and Master’s degree program in the area of Printed Electronics and Functional Imaging. Through this program students acquire the essential knowledge and skills to carry into the printing and design worlds. They are ready to apply conductive, insulating, reactive and other functional inks to flexible substrates creating new devices for active packaging, package security features, biotechnology, 3D forms and many burgeoning applications. Accepting award were the instructors who created the program including Dr. Malcolm Keif, Dr. Xiaoying Rong, and Professor Colleen Twomey.
The FLEXI Awards are sponsored by FlexTech Alliance, the leading US industrial R&D consortium in flexible and printed electronics.