LONDON The U.K. government has launched a national strategy for plastic electronics and alongside it the government-backed Technology Strategy Board has announced an £8 million (about $13 million) investment in plastic electronics technologies.
Plastic electronics: a UK strategy for successwas launched by Lord Mandelson the U.K. Secretary of State for business. It recommends actions to encourage, co-ordinate and facilitate investment and to support business growth.
The Technology Strategy Board will launch two competitions, early next year, designed to help facilitate these recommended solutions.
The £3 million Demonstrator Workshop on Plastic Electronics will take place in March 2010 and will focus on devising demonstrator project ideas with commercial potential. The workshop will take place in London from March 1 to 3 2010. Projects agreed in principle at the end of the three-day workshop will be converted into written proposals and plans by the project team.
The £5 million collaborative research and development competition aims to support the development of a supply chain to enable the U.K. to exploit plastic electronics.
"The aim of our strategy is to ensure the UK can take advantage of these new opportunities and enhance our world-leading position in the sector; by up-scaling our manufacturing processes, improving our skills and boosting productivity. The Technology Strategy Board's work will play an important role in this," said Lord Mandelson, in a statement.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: "Very sophisticated plastic electronics technology already exists but we believe that there are huge opportunities out there for further incorporation of the technology into products. The challenge is to entice companies, especially those from the design sector, to work with the technology."
In July the government announced a £20 million (about $33 million) expansion of the Printable Electronics Technology Centre (PETEC) in Sedgefield, in the northeast of England. It was estimated that investment would stimulate the creation of up to 250 jobs in the northeast and up to 1,500 jobs nationally.
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