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Ciba and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland expand collaboration in printed electronics

03.06.2008


Existing research cooperation develops into strong application and market driven collaboration. Potential applications include solar cells, holograms, organic light- emitting devices for signage, sensors and photo diodes.

Ciba and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have signed a medium- to long- term cooperation agreement in the field of printed intelligence. The agreement accelerates Ciba’s and VTT’s current research collaboration in printed organic electronics, established in early 2007, and expands it to new printable functionalities in high-volume packaging and diagnostics applications. The aim of the partnership is to develop new commercial products and solutions based on emerging printing technologies.

   

Ciba and VTT are collaborating in the development of materials, technologies, processes, services and systems in the field of printed electronics. The cooperation involves product development, mutual IPR licensing, and other joint technology commercialization efforts. The first jointly developed products and solutions are to be launched in the next few years.

Ciba Inc.’s interest is to combine its first class expertise in materials design and manufacturing with VTT’s outstanding expertise in advanced printing techniques. One of the techniques is roll-to-roll printing that accesses the mass-produced functional devices, including solar cells, holograms, organic light emitting devices for signage, sensors and photo diodes. VTT will carry out its extensive work on behalf of the collaboration at its Center for Printed Intelligence.

“New printed functional materials, developed in parallel with production processes and components, play a key role in realizing end-market applications. High-quality advanced materials and material platforms enable new, competitive, printed products. Such solutions can only be developed competitively within strongly interdisciplinary expert teams combining materials, systems, processing and market know-how. This is precisely the strength of the strategic collaboration,” says Dr. Andreas Hafner, Head of Group Research at Ciba.

“We are excited to see our relationship with Ciba, built in part through co-operation in EU and Tekes-funded joint research projects, now develop into this strong application and market driven collaboration. We share a common vision and work together in a spirit of open innovation,” says Research Professor Harri Kopola, Director of the Center for Printed Intelligence at VTT.

The Ciba-VTT research cooperation benefits from the multidisciplinary technology know-how of VTT in printing/converting, chemistry, biochemistry, nanotechnology, electronics, and diagnostics, for example, and from Ciba’s extensive experience and know-how in specialty chemicals. The collaboration has been built through a series of successful Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and EU FP6 projects.

A growing number of developments are emerging in printed intelligence and printed electronics technologies in various parts of the world. First end-market applications based on these emerging technologies, such as displays, brand authentication and diagnostics, have already been brought to the market. The market for printed disposable electronics is forecast to grow significantly in the coming years and numerous further new product announcements are expected.

Ciba (SWX: CIBN) is a leading global company dedicated to producing high-value effects for its customers’ products. We strive to be the partner of choice for our customers, offering them innovative products and one-stop expert service. We create effects that improve the quality of life – adding performance, protection, color and strength to plastics, paper, automobiles, buildings, home and personal care products and much more. Ciba is active in more than 120 countries around the world and is committed to being a leader in its chosen markets. In 2007, the Company generated sales of CHF 6.5 billion from continued operations and invested over CHF 260 million in R&D.