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Plastic Logic moves north to seed manufacturing base

Posted: 14 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:plastic electronics? flexible display? bakcplanes? sensor?

Plastic Logic Ltd, a developer of plastic electronics for flexible display backplanes and sensors, said that planning permission had been granted for a 30,000 square foot facility to be built in Sedgefield, County Durham in the north of England.

Plastic Logic said its Sedgefield technology center is intended to help develop the manufacturing of plastic electronics and associated infrastructure in the northeastern part of England, which has suffered with high unemployment since coal-mining and heavy industry ceased in the region. The global market for plastic or organic electronics could reach $30 billion by 2015 and $250 billion by 2025, according to Plastic Logic.

The initial costs for the facility are projected to be more than #20 million (about $35 million). Funding is currently being secured from a number of sources, including national and regional government, as well as industrial partners including DuPont Teijin Films, Merck Chemical, Xaar and Xennia. It is expected that leading research universities including Cambridge, Durham and Newcastle will also be partners in the technology center.

Construction of the center is due to begin in the fourth quarter of 2005 and be operating in the first half of 2007.

The center will initially install a pilot line based on the process and technology developed by Plastic Logic at its existing mini-fab in Cambridge. The center would be used to develop advanced manufacturing processes and provide low volume production for early customers and is expected to make a contribution to regional employment and economic development.

It is intended that the Centre will be an open access facility for the entire European plastic electronics community, with safeguards to protect the intellectual property and trade secrets of each participant. Once operational, it is intended that the Centre will be managed by an independent not-for-profit company to be established in the coming months.

"Plastic electronics is entering a new phase: the race is on from research and invention, to customers and products. This new center will make a major contribution in ensuring the UK retains a leading position as this new industry develops," said Stuart Evans, chief executive officer of Plastic Logic.

Lord Broers, Chairman of Plastic Logic who also serves as President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the U.K. government's House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology, commented: "The U.K. has produced absolutely world class research in plastic electronics. Now is exactly the right time to gear up for manufacturing."

- Peter Clarke

EE Times

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