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FlexTech Alliance Funds Multi-Partner Project to Build an Integrated, Printed Memory and Sensor System

Aug 21, 2012

Technology from PARC, Thinfilm Electronics and University of California at Berkeley Establish Foundation for Low Cost Medical, Pharmaceutical and Food Supply Monitoring

SAN JOSE, Calif., August 22, 2012 - FlexTech Alliance, focused on developing the supply chain for displays and flexible, printed electronics, today announced that it has awarded a grant to develop and manufacture an integrated printed sensor system for use in multiple healthcare and product monitoring applications. The project leverages commercial development work currently underway between PARC and Thinfilm Electronics on designing a printed sensor platform and will integrate temperature sensing as well as assess an oxygen sensor being developed at the University of California at Berkeley.

Applications made possible at the conclusion of this project may include radiation tags, disposable medical sensors, temperature tracking of pharmaceuticals at the item level, and monitoring of food sources for spoilage and contamination. Although different in application, these types of sensor systems may share similar architectural designs. This project establishes a foundation of building blocks used to design sensor systems, helping accelerate commercial implementation of existing and future components of printed electronic products.

“FlexTech Alliance chose to support this project because it will help stimulate market demand, the next step for the growth and success of the printed electronics industry,” said Michael Ciesinski, CEO of FlexTech Alliance. “The project participants are key players who will bring together their expertise in printed memory, logic and sensors to create new, cost-effective methods to monitor health, promote food safety, and facilitate item level tracking, among other applications.”

Specific goals of the project include:
-Demonstrate the world’s first integrated printed sensor circuitry – the basis for a smart tag including printed temperature sensor and printed nonvolatile rewritable memory, controlled by organic logic.
-Provide reference designs for sensor control and integration with other devices and demonstrate that the building blocks of these designs can be manufactured by gravure printing.

The market for sensor devices is established and growing. The worldwide market for biosensors alone is expected to grow from US$8.5 billion in 2012 to US$16.8 billion by 2018, according to MarketResearch.com. The inherent advantages printed sensor systems have over those fabricated with conventional electronics methods make them ideal candidates to gain considerable market share. Printed sensors can be produced at fractions of the cost of conventional electronics with the added advantage of thin, flexible form factors - opening up new markets where sensing is currently too expensive but high performance levels are not required.

About the FlexTech Alliance
The FlexTech Alliance is the only organization headquartered in North America exclusively devoted to fostering the growth, profitability and success of the electronic display and the flexible, printed electronics supply chain. FlexTech offers expanded collaboration between and among industry, academia, government, and research organizations for advancing displays and flexible, printed electronics from R&D to commercialization. To this end, the FlexTech Alliance, based in San Jose, Calif., will help foster development of the supply chain required to support a world-class, manufacturing capability for displays and flexible, printed electronics. More information about the FlexTech Alliance can be found at the industry portal: www.flextech.org.

About PARC
PARC, a Xerox company, is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients. Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the research that enables breakthroughs for our clients' businesses.

About ThinFilm Electronics
Thin Film Electronics ASA (Ticker: THIN.OL) is a leader in the development of printed electronics. The first to commercialize printed rewritable memory, Thinfilm is creating printed system products that will include memory, sensing, display and wireless communication—at a cost-per-functionality unmatched by any other electronic technology. Thinfilm's roadmap of system products integrates technology from a strong and growing ecosystem of partners to enable the Internet of Things by bringing intelligence to disposable goods. Company headquarters are in Oslo, Norway, with product development in Linköping, Sweden, sales offices in San Francisco, USA, and Tokyo, Japan, and manufacturing in Pyongtaek, South Korea. www.thinfilm.no

About the University of California at Berkeley
The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus — envisioned as a "City of Learning" — was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Today the world's premier public university and a wellspring of innovation, UC Berkeley occupies a 1,232 acre campus with a sylvan 178-acre central core. From this home its academic community makes key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.