By Cameron Chai
A senior research fellow at TNO, a Dutch research organization, Herman Schoo, has coordinated the Polymap program to ensure that funding for research on organic and large-area electronics (OLAE) is distributed and utilized effectively within the European research group.
The Polymap team has secured a EUR 600,000 grant from the European Commission to form an ERA-Net Plus network, which will create cooperation and organize funding from regional organizations and national governments. They have also established an online database to maintain updated information on the OLAE research and also provided training workshops for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are active in this field.
OLAE products are less expensive, more flexible and lighter than inorganic conductors, such as silicon and copper. Hence, they are a feasible alternative for a wide range of electronics applications. Organic electronics can find applications in printed batteries, disposable diagnostic devices, flexible solar cells, rollable displays, low cost radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponders and intelligent packaging. The most common commercial use of the OLAE technology is organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).
The Polymap team’s initiatives were organized with three other EU-funded projects, Polynet, Prodi and Opera, working on the OLAE field. The four projects are together referred as 'Quadriga' projects. The OLAE+ ERA-Net Plus network has been established with the participation of eight countries and focused on enhancing the use of resources. Till date, the network has secured a total of approximately EUR 18 million funding from national research programmes.