Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019

Necomada EU funded consortium aims to address materials challenges in the IoT

The project aims to advance material development to reduce the final system costs, and trial them on a roll-to-roll pilot line located at the Centre for Process Innovation facilities

16 May 2017 | Editor

The EU funded Necomada consortium today announced that it will be addressing the material challenges associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), to allow for the integration of electronics into a wide range of everyday items.

The Necomada (Nano-Enabled Conducting Materials Accelerating Device Applicability) project, which involves the collaboration of 13 partners, incorporates advanced functional materials to develop customised inks and flexible adhesives that are compatible with high volume manufacturing platforms, with an emphasis on low-cost production. These materials will support high-speed, roll-to-roll integration and large area electronics to address the IoT opportunities.

Necomada also aims to deliver a supply chain that enables future commercialisation and includes a wide range of end-users to ensure its commercial viability within a range of industries including: apparel, healthcare, printing, domestic appliances, smart packaging, and fast-moving consumer goods.

According to the announcement there is a need for mass production of low-cost printable electronics to enable the development of flexible electronic devices that are compatible with a wide range of consumer goods, not only products with a rigid form. This will be achieved by enabling roll-to-roll fabrication: the process of manufacturing electronics on a roll of flexible material. Existing production lines utilise expensive materials, and are limited to the integration of a single component per tag.

The Necomada project aims to advance material development to reduce the final system costs, and trial them on a roll-to-roll pilot line located at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) with novel capability to assemble more complex systems at the throughputs and cost points demanded by high-volume applications.

The pilot facilities being developed will be available for use by industrial partners to trial their innovative product and material solutions. Initial target applications for demonstrative products include Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags.

The Necomada involves the collaboration of thirteen partners:

  • the Centre for Process Innovation Ltd (CPI)
  • Henkel Electronic Materials (HEM)
  • PragmatIC Printing Ltd
  • Teknologisk Institut (DTI)
  • Contitech Elastomer-Beschichtungen
  • Nanogap Sub-NM-Powder SA
  • Thomas Swan & Co Ltd
  • BSH Electrodomesticos Espana SA
  • Henkel KGaA
  • Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Ltd
  • Fraunhofer FhG
  • Tyoeterveyslaitos (FIOH)
  • NXP Semiconductors

The project will use and build on CPI’s open access pilot facilities at the UK’s National Centre for Printable Electronics to develop hybrid integration systems for printed electronics as well as new materials development. Hybrid systems combine the strengths of two complimentary technologies, large area electronics to enable the flexibility and silicon CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) integrated circuits for high performance.

Necomada’s complete supply chain also supports developments from pilot scale production, with manufacturing companies such as Henkel, BSH and Crown Packaging involved from the beginning of the project to ensure that the end application requirements can be met.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720897.

Richard Price, Chief Technology Officer at Pragmatic printing, said, "PragmatIC is delighted to be working with the world-leading Necomada partners to advance NFC products into the marketplace, based on our proprietary flexible ICs." Richard added, "We are already investing in our FlexLogIC 'fab-in-a-box' to facilitate fully-automated, high-throughput production of flexible ICs. This fits naturally into the supply chain for a wide variety of intelligent packaging solutions and neatly complements the activities within the Necomada project."
Sergio Estebanez Alonso, Project Consultant, BSH, said, "It is a great opportunity and a strategic advantage to BSH to collaborate with leading companies in our sector. The Necomada project allows us to participate in and be at the forefront of these new technology developments, as well as make use of the end products." Sergio added, "Not only will the final user benefit from this technology, but all other users that are in contact with the product during its life cycle will benefit from enhanced technical assistance, product production and recycling."
Olaf Lammerschop, Innovation Manager, Henkel KGaA, said, "We are proud to be a part of the Necomada project, a cutting-edge collaboration." Olaf added, "Being involved from the start of the project will enable us to better serve the needs of our customers. To address the IoT, Necomada will bring innovative electronics into our everyday products."
Jon Helliwell, Business Development Director, Centre for Process Innovation, said, "CPI is delighted to be coordinating the project Necomada, which aligns with its core strategy of taking innovation through to commercialisation. We believe that the unique blend of skills and capabilities within our consortium will enable us to develop materials that will support high-speed, roll-to-roll integration of hybrid and large area electronics. This will unlock many of the opportunities that the Internet of Things presents to a wide range of stakeholders."

Nano-Enabled Conducting Materials Accelerating Device Applicability

Timescale 2017-01-01 to 2019-12-31, ongoing project

Project details

Total cost:EUR 8 101 378,75
EU contribution:EUR 6 820 288,75
Coordinated in:United Kingdom
Topic(s):PILOTS-01-2016 - Pilot lines for manufacturing of materials with customised thermal/electrical conductivity properties
Call for proposal:H2020-NMBP-PILOTS-2016See other projects for this call
Funding scheme:IA - Innovation action


The project targets the incorporation of advanced functional materials to deliver customised conductive inks and flexible adhesives compatible with high volume manufacturing platforms. Specifically the development of these enabling materials will support high speed roll to roll integration of hybrid and large area electronics to address internet of things opportunities

The consortium will integrate materials development with end application requirements in terms of technical performance (thermal/electrical conductivity, processing conditions, materials integrity and adhesion) and unit cost of production to facilitate market adoption. The project will utilise and build on existing CPI pilot facilities (R2R print line) to demonstrate technology integration, manufacturability and produce components for end user evaluation to enable the direct comparison of production techniques.

The project delivers a supply chain to support future commercialisation: incorporating materials suppliers of inks and adhesives, supporting RTO in Formulation and nano-particle production, established high fidelity print equipment manufacturers, electronic device manufacturers, established pilot line facilities and potential end users from the apparel, packaging and healthcare sector – relating to the internet of things.


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