Merck and CLEARink Displays sign development agreement

Black light on phosphor powders for LEDs in an R&D lab, Darmstadt, Germany (photo: Merck)

The Merck Group, a leading science and technology company based in Darmstadt, Germany, announced that it has signed a comprehensive materials development agreement with CLEARink Displays, aiming to bring CLEARink’s innovative and patented reflective display technology to market by the end of 2017.

Merck is a world leader in developing materials and formulations for the LCD and OLED industries. It has also been developing reflective display materials for several years. Merck’s electro-optical inks are designed for electrophoretic displays and specifically support the CLEARink Displays’ TIR architecture. CLEARink displays offer unparalleled outdoor readability, full color and video representation, low power consumption and low cost, and are thus well-positioned to create a whole new class of display applications. The first CLEARink displays in kit form will be available in the first half of 2017, with commercial product release expected in early 2018.

“CLEARink is a technology leader in reflective colour displays for mobile devices. We are very excited to collaborate with the capable team at CLEARink because its technology allows for fast response and high brightness,” said Brian Daniels, vice president and head of the Advanced Technologies business unit at Merck. “This agreement is the culmination of four years of hard work and close cooperation between the two companies.”

Initially targeted applications in the mobile device space include smart watches and bands, mobile phones, portable e-Schoolbooks, electronic shelf labels and others. CLEARink has commenced reference design activities with a very select set of leaders in the space.

“We have been working with Merck since the very beginning to develop best-in-class materials for our displays. Today we are within striking distance of our goals to release a much needed product into the market,” said Frank Christiaens, CEO of CLEARink Displays. “In the past six months, interest in our technology from customers, investors and partners in the eco-system has been overwhelming.” CLEARink Displays will pursue a strategy of selling display modules made by its eco-system partners and will also license its technology for display companies to make their own products.

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