A new £10m facility that will provide a central base for multinational companies exploring the plastic electronics market, as well as dynamic academic spin-outs and universities, is being built in County Durham in North East England.
The Centre of Excellence for Nano, Micro and Photonic Systems (Cenamps) has partnered with the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) to build the Plastics Electronics Technology Centre (PETeC).
As ever increasing uses and methods are discovered and developed, plastic electronics is predicted to become a £30bn industry by 2015.
"This centre will provide a bridge between the lab and the factory to facilitate the commercialisation of new products," said Dr Mike Pitkethly, CEO of Cenamps.
"With ever-increasing competition from places such as India and China, it is crucial that the UK continues to offer world class facilities for developing plastic electronic products, and PETeC will be integral to the UK's competitiveness in this emerging group of technologies."
The PETeC will offer space, resources and expertise for companies to research and develop new technologies and their applications, as well as prototyping and mini-manufacturing products based on plastic electronics.
These will include smart packaging, real-time smart packaging, real-time newspapers, intelligent signage, point-of-care medical diagnostic devices, novel drug delivery devices, printed electronics for consumer products, flexible solar cells and solid state lighting.
The centre's facilities will include high-tech clean rooms and laboratories, as well as production and testing equipment that will be available on an open access basis to any applicant.
The PETeC building will form part of the NETPark science park and is due to be up and running by May 2008.
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