LONDON The Printable Electronics Technology Centre (PETEC) in North East England is to undergo a £20 million (about $33 million) expansion.
The centre, at the NETPark in Sedgefield, County Durham, is to receive £12million (about $20 million) from the U.K. Government’s Advanced Manufacturing strategy, along with a further £8million (about $13 million) that will be channeled by Regional Development Agency One North East.
In the next four years it is estimated that this investment will stimulate the creation of up to 250 jobs in the North East and up to 1,500 jobs nationally.
The funding will help to enhance the open access product development facilities at PETEC with the introduction of new equipment capable of prototyping applications in printable photovoltaics, ultra-efficient lighting, printable flexible displays and new intelligent packaging.
PETEC was established in 2006 by Regional Development Agency One North East and the County Durham Economic Partnership, and is a division of the Centre for Process Innovation Limited (CPI).
The Centre, which officially opened in March 2009, connects innovators in research with commercial activity using proof of concept devices and pilot scale manufacture, helping clients identify the materials, industrial steps and investments required to bring products to market quickly.
The global market for printable electronics is forecast to grow to £15 billion (about $24 billion) by 2015 and £125 billion (about $206 billion) by 2025.
The new investment will provide 500 sq m of equipment space for large-area application and production of pilot product manufacturing. In will enable PETEC to develop new applications and knowledge which should attract new companies to the U.K. and promote private sector investment into novel lighting and solar energy harvesting applications.
Technologies which should receive a boost include in wide-area displays, photovoltaic generation, novel lighting and smart packaging by stimulating collaborations with new companies and linking with academia.
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