Michigan businesses invited to free printed electronics session at WMU

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Photo of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences building.

The event will be held on WMU's Parkview Campus.

KALAMAZOO—Representatives from Michigan companies in a variety of industry sectors will gather at Western Michigan University Friday, June 27, for a day of networking and brainstorming to connect Michigan businesses with experts in the field of flexible electronic and printed electronic technologies.

The free industry event, which will begin at 8:30 a.m., will be held at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences—home to the nation's leading research center on the topic. The session is expected to attract representatives from the Michigan Tech Transfer Network as well as suppliers, manufacturers and consumer products companies with interest or involvement in printed electronics. Experts in the field of printed electronics in such industries as automotive supply, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food packaging, clothing and a variety of sensor-enabled products will be in attendance.

A networking opportunity

"This event is designed to get the conversation moving and determine ways we can work together to shorten the pathway to commercialization for Michigan-based companies with interest in this technology," says Dr. Margaret Joyce, WMU professor of paper and chemical engineering and director of the University's Center for the Advancement of Printed Electronics—CAPE. "Industry and University researchers will demonstrate applications, and we'll all be looking at what talent already exists in our state as well as what talent still needs to be developed."

WMU is the only place in the state that can fully print flexible electronic devices, and one of only a few such resources in the United States. For the past nine years WMU has led the nation in efforts to print functional materials, forming CAPE in 2008. The CAPE team has worked with more than 50 companies and multiple other research institutions in and out of Michigan to develop new printed electronic technologies. Their focus has been on printing as a low-cost means of producing electronic devices.

The June 27 event will allow attendees to identity suppliers, manufacturers and Michigan experts who can assist them in adopting the technology. The rapidly growing technology, Joyce says, is seeing such recent advances as thinner and more flexible electronics made from silicon-based materials.

"Many of those industry leaders will be on hand to showcase how they use this technology and help lead the discussions about new opportunities," Joyce says. "This networking event is all about how to make Michigan the forerunner in the manufacture and integration of printed electronic products. We want to bring everyone with backgrounds in solid-state electronics and put them in touch with companies and faculty members who are at the cutting edge of printed electronics."

Space for the June 27 networking event is limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. To participate in the free event, company teams and individuals are asked to register online for the free event at www.wmich.edu/pci/Seminars/Seminars.html.

For more information about printed electronics and the June event, contact Dr. Margaret Joyce at margaret.joyce@wmich.edu or (269) 276-3514.