LEE-BED: Innovation test bed for development and production of nanomaterials for lightweight embedded electronics
Funded by the European Union, the LEE-BED project (2019-2023) brings together world leading European research and technology organisations (RTOs) and industry to establish an Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB) focusing on nanomaterials and lightweight embedded electronics.
Oncoming challenges for European economies are the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), which means the extension of Internet connectivity into everyday objects by means of embedding and or printing electronic devices, and the digitalisation of the European production industry in the transition to the so-called Industry 4.0.
This process requires of the development of novel and multi-functional nanomaterials, but the major limitation for their use in the embedded/printed electronics industry are: (1) long development times for materials and formulations, typically over six to nine months each, (2) high costs due to long development times as well as limited volume production for nanomaterials, (3) lack of validated digital pilot lines for production at industry relevant volumes and (4) lack of underpinning metodologies and quality standards.
The ambition for LEE-BED is to eliminate these barriers and offer solutions to European industry through a full service from concept to pilot production of prototypes.
Summary and objectives
LEE-BED is an open innovation test bed (OITB) which aims to reunite the best research and technology organizations (RTOs) and companies in Europe to accelerate the development of nanomaterials and lightweight embedded electronics for the benefit of the European industry.
In the printed electronics industry, there is a strong push towards using nanomaterials instead of micro-material based pigments, due to superior electrical performance, lower processing temperatures and reduction of material consumption4. This will allow cheaper, more versatile and sustainable integration of electronics into products.
Furthermore, the digitalisation of the European production industry (Industry 4.0) through digital based production technologies, such as ink-jet printing, additive manufacturing, robotically assisted in-mould labelling, laser processing and stereo lithography requires functional nanomaterials and formulations, and the availability of these nanomaterials is a major bottleneck, which LEE-BED will resolve.
LEE-BED will bring together and upgrade pilot line facilities, located in the facilities of project partners, for rapid development and pilot production of nanomaterial, inks, adhesives and composites as well as digital based pilot production lines. LEE-BED will unify the entire value chain from raw materials to embedded electrical components, providing tailored solutions for European entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and large enterprises, with the main objective of going from concept to prototype within six months.
Through LEE-BED’s single entry point, www.leebed.eu, stakeholders will get access to specialized services and pilot lines. LEE-BED will bring ideas to market through three industrial phases, consisting of:
PHASE I: Techno/economic assessment, including life cycle analysis, patent mapping and safety/regulatory review.
PHASE II: A pilot project using existing and upgraded pilot lines.
PHASE III: Knowledge transfer, including intellectual property rights (IPR) and patent assessments, standards/safety screening and access capital investment opportunities.
This strategy will result in a minimization of the concept-to-prototype development times, resources and cost helping the European manufacturing industry to become more efficient and competitive.
The applications to be developed in the LEE-BED project include:
-embedded electronics in automotive interior parts
-IoT in packaging
-structural monitoring of composite based construction materials
-functional and fashionable surfaces for wearables and interior design.
17 partners from 8 European countries
1. TEKNOLOGISK INSTITUT (Denmark) – Project coordinator
2. INSTITUTO TECNOLÓGICO DEL EMBALAJE, TRANSPORTE Y LOGÍSTICA (Spain)
3. CENTRE FOR PROCESS INNOVATION LIMITED LBG (United Kingdom)
4. NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR TOEGEPAST NATUURWETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK TNO (Netherlands)
5. TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT EINDHOVEN (Netherlands)
6. RISE RESEARCH INSTITUTES OF SWEDEN AB (Sweden)
7. FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V. (Germany)
8. COMMISSARIAT A L´ÉNERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ÉNERGIES ALTERNATIVES (France)
9. VSPARTICLE BV (Netherlands)
10. SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS EUROPE SL (Spain)
11. AXIA INNOVATION UG (Germany)
12. TEKNOLOGI & PRODUKT UDVIKLING AS (Denmark)
13. MAIER SCOOP (Spain)
14. GRAFIETIC SL (Spain)
15. ACCIONA CONSTRUCCIÓN SA (Spain)
16. GLOBAL EQUITY & CORPORATE CONSULTING SL (Spain)
17. D. SWAROVSKI KG (Austria)
Among the pilot lines, ITENE’s Packaging Pilot Line is focused on offering services to implement IoT in the packaging production using different printing methods (to print conductive tracks and circuits), pick and place modules (to implement electronic components) and in-line automated QC inspection system. Also, for in-mould electronics applications, a vacuum forming machine is available. Through LEE_BED project, we’ll be offering services to develop new smart packaging solutions to improve customer communication, increase product security, avoid counterfeiting and have a better control of the supply chain.
Colour-changing ink for the detection of CO2.