By Nick Gilbert
One of the major challenges in the realm of future electronics is ‘Flexible electronics,’ which would introduce a myriad of applications in areas, including energy, robotics and healthcare.
In the field of flexible electronics, the Fondazione Bruno Kessler will be the coordinator of an Initial Training Network Marie Curie project dubbed the COllaborative Network for Training in Electronic Skin Technology (CONTEST) project, which involves six other full partners, namely ST Microelectronics, Italy; Shadow Robotics, the United Kingdom; Imperial College London, the United Kingdom; University College London, the United Kingdom; Fraunhofer EMFT, Germany; and Technical University Munich, Germany, and two associate partners, namely University of Tokyo, Japan, and University of Cambridge, the United Kingdom.
The European Commission funded €3.81 million under the Marie Curie Actions - FP7 People Specific Programme to the four-year CONTEST project, which will commence from October 1, 2012. The project will study key technological features of flexible electronics to develop an electronically optimized and wearable smart skin, which can be utilized to explore the interaction between human and environment and to optimize robotic skills. The solutions based on silicon and organic materials will be studied to create systems with both advantages.
Training young scientists in multidisciplinary research is the core of the CONTEST project, which will hire 2 experienced researchers and 12 excellent early-stage researchers. Leandro Lorenzelli, Head of the Bio-MEMS Unit of the Center for Materials and Microsystems at Fondazione Bruno Kessler, and Ravinder S. Dahiya, researcher at the Bio-MEMS Unit, will coordinate the activities of the CONTEST project.
According to Ravinder S. Dahiya, the disruptive flexible electronics technology will transform the electronic market scenario and multifunctional electronics. Leandro Lorenzelli informed that research on thin flexible components will create new innovations for microelectronic systems and devices with functionalities customized to the requirements of a myriad of applications such as biomedical instrumentation, robotics and smart cities.