Industry-Leading International Conference on Printed Electronics to be Held in Chicago on April 24, 2007

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Inaugural industry forum on printed electronics to showcase stunning technology and product breakthroughs to a world-class gathering of business, academic and government leaders.

The emerging technology of printed electronics will have its coming out party on April 24, 2007 in Chicago when the Industry Forum on Printed Electronics (IFOPE) presents a world-class line-up of international speakers from commercial and academic innovators in thin film, organic, and printable electronics. The audience will include senior executives from a broad range of industries being transformed by these rapidly advancing micro- and nanotechnology developments, including aerospace, chemicals, consumer goods, electronics, food & beverage, medical devices, packaging and semiconductors. Corporate and institutional venture capital executives will also be present.

IFOPE is being organized by founding partners UK Trade & Investment, the North of England Inward Investment Agency, and the Centre of Excellence for Nanotechnology, Micro and Photonic Systems (Cenamps). Event partners include the law firm of Drinker Biddle Gardner Carton LLP and commercialization consultants Pragmaxis LLC. The event content partner is NanoMarkets, Inc., a leading international printed electronics market research firm.

The promise of printed electronics is that it will enable a wide range of next-generation products including radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and other components; smart cards, smart labels, and smart packaging; photovoltaics, batteries, and fuel cells; lighting; display applications such as flexible displays, advertising and point-of-purchase displays, and components for high-end LCD and OLED displays; and medical diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Perhaps the most interesting area of technological debate to be addressed during the conference will be whether ink-jet printing or conventional analog graphic arts processes such as screen printing, gravure, offset printing and flexography will prevail. There are strongly held opinions on both sides of the argument.

According to IFOPE Executive Producer Ray Pimentel, Vice Consul (Trade & Investment) at the British Consulate-General in Chicago, "The real promise of printed electronics is in the inherent lower capital requirements and unit manufacturing costs compared with the traditional photolithography processes used in silicon-based electronics." He continued, "In much the same way that the printed word had such a profound impact on the world beginning in the 15th century, printed electronics now has the potential to revolutionize electronics and manufacturing through innovative advances in equipment, processes and materials."

"Advances in printed electronics are being driven by the unprecedented convergence of industries that have never before been so intricately linked, including aerospace, consumer goods, electronics, packaging, printing and semiconductors", echoed Peter Balbus, host of the event and a recognized expert in nanotechnology commercialization. He stated, "IFOPE represents the first conference of its kind bringing all these industries together in one common forum to discuss the factual state of the art in printed electronics and identify the technological and business hurdles to be solved next. Our aim is to separate the hype from the reality and identify where the real opportunities are emerging from a product and market development perspective."

Confirmed speakers at IFOPE comprise a world-renowned set of academic and business leaders in the electronic printing arena. A partial listing includes:

  • Dr. Wasiq Bokhari -- CEO, BioIdent
  • Dr. Daniel Gamota -- Director of Printed Electronics Group, Motorola, Inc.
  • Dr. Neil Gershenfeld -- Director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms
  • Dr. Bruce Gnade -- Distinguished Chair in Microelectronics and Vice President for Research, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Phil Inagaki -- Co-founder, Polyera
  • Adam Laubach -- CTO & General Manager of Functional Printing, GSI Technologies
  • Dr. Devin Mackenzie -- Director of Technology, Add-Vision
  • Matt Timm -- President, Soligie

About IFOPE

IFOPE is a British-American initiative to provide ongoing channels of communication and education among innovators in thin film, organic, and printable electronics; end-user industries; and the broader business community.

Created by founding partners UK Trade & Investment, the North of England Inward Investment Agency, and Cenamps, IFOPE is open to all who share an interest in advancing the commercialization of the exciting emerging technology of printed electronics.

IFOPE will be a full-day event on Tuesday, April 24, held at the conference center of Drinker Biddle Gardner Carton LLP, 191 North Wacker, Suite 3700, preceded by an opening evening reception on April 23 at a location to be announced. Early-bird registration is $30 through March 31.

Please visit http://www.ifope.org for more information, continuing updates and to register.

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