A range of specialist plastic electronics businesses in the UK are to benefit from a total of £8.4 M investment in research and development into new technology that will lead to the creation of a range of new products. Thirteen projects, involving more than 30 industrial and academic partners, will benefit from the funding allocated as a result of two competitions run by the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board.
£7.4 M has been offered to eight projects to help build the supply chain and to overcome the barriers to UK exploitation of plastic electronics technology, including over £800,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). A further £1 M has been offered by the Technology Strategy Board to five projects to encourage UK businesses to use plastic electronics in their product development by producing demonstrators with potential for real commercial value.
When announcing the initiative, the UK Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said, "The global market for Plastic Electronics is now worth almost $2 B (£1.337 B) and is forecasted to grow to as much as $120 B (£80.19 B) by 2020. The funding I've announced is important in supporting UK businesses to be world leaders in one of the key industries of the future. Commercially exploiting the outputs of the UK's world-leading science and research base has a vital role to play in helping our economy to grow."