A NORTH-EAST firm is contributing its expertise to a project focused on creating an open-innovation test bed for the development and production of lightweight embedded electronics.

The Centre for Process Innovation Limited (CPI), a science and technology innovation centre, will offer its facilities and capabilities to the Horizon 2020 project.

The Northern Echo:

The Formulation capabilities at NetPark and the Printed Electronics capabilities at Newton Aycliffe are the two sites that companies will use, as part of the LEE-BED project.

The ‘LEE-BED’ project will run for four years with a consortium funding value of more than €10m. The aim is to de-risk and accelerate the development and manufacture of nanomaterials and lightweight embedded electronics, giving European industry a global competitive advantage as well as creating more jobs in the sector.

Bosses say CPI’s electronics and formulation capabilities will provide the project with a range of expertise in inks, adhesives and composite formulation, as well as in printable device fabrication, flexible electronics and electronic system design.

Once the test bed pilot lines have been developed, CPI will play a leading role in the launch of the open-access LEE-BED test bed in 2021, enabling companies to use the new facilities developed as part of the project.

The services will enable SMEs, entrepreneurs, start-ups and large enterprises to go from concept to prototype in six months.

They will also be supported throughout the supply chain, with SMEs being provided with funding sources for LEE-BED access.

Neville Slack, LEE-BED business development manager at CPI, said: “The LEE-BED project and the development of the innovation test bed will contribute to the growth of embedded electronics in Europe by de-risking and accelerating the development of sensors and electronic components.

"It is exciting to be involved in this project and to see the impact that LEE-BED will have on the future of the electronics industry.”

John Cocker, director of electronics at CPI, said: “The LEE-BED innovation test bed will have a huge impact on businesses across the nanomaterials, formulation and embedded electronics industries in Europe.

"The benefits of the cost-effective and accelerated development of sensors and electronic components will have a number of applications in the IoT, wearable electronics, automotive, construction and energy industries.”