OE-A at LOPEC 2023 – Printed electronics up close


Smart skis that “feel” the vibrations of a downhill run, a flying 3-D printed drone, a sensing glove, a biosensor test kit that helps to avoid virus spreading and some more inspiring ideas play a major role in this year’s “OE-A Competition”. This yearly competition run by the OE-A, part of VDMA, fosters and challenges engineers and designers to present their printed electronics innovations to the world. At LOPEC 2023, the leading international exhibition and conference of printed electronics, from 28 February to 2 March at ICM, Messe München, all projects are showcased at the OE-A booth.

"For me personally the best thing about the competition is the exciting mix between inspiring, trendsetting ideas and market ready products. This year’s submissions are very much in line with the Focus Topics of LOPEC, we have great projects in the field of mobility and smart living. And we see that sustainability is even in early-stage projects a leading idea,” says Dr Klaus Hecker, Managing Director of the OE-A, an international working group within VDMA.

This year, 16 contributions from international companies, research institutions and universities take part in the “OE-A Competition 2023” to present their new products, prototypes, and concepts. The submitted projects are judged by a jury of representatives from well-known international companies and institutes in three categories: "Prototypes & New Products"; "Freestyle Demonstrator"; and "Publicly Funded Project Demonstrator".

“The expert jury will have a hard time rating the 16 contributions and deciding on the winners of the three categories”, predicts Klaus Hecker. Here is a first snapshot of competition contributions which will be shown at the OE-A booth:

- Smooth & Sharp from Taiwan submitted a printed NFC biosensor test stripe for disease screening. The test stripe decreases the risk of virus spreading triggered through testing and transportation because it shows the result straight away. The contaminated patch can be removed safely and is easy to dispose.

- How to create an eco-friendly, ultra- thin and flexible heating foil based on a copper skin film shows Avery Dennison. This novel technology enables a more sustainable production of heating and sensor foils for the mobility and healthcare sector.

- The Smart skis submitted by Joanneum Research and partners senses vibrations while skiing. The energy autonomous sensor transmits data about the behaviour of the ski on different slopes, material stability and the suitability of the ski for the athlete.

Not only the jury will decide which project is a winner, but all visitors are invited to cast their vote for the "Public Choice Award". Visitors choose from all contributions which demonstrator deserves the “Public Choice Award”. The voting takes place on 1 March at the OE-A booth and the winner will be announced on the evening of Wednesday, 1 March during the LOPEC Get-together & Award Show. Additionally, the winner of all categories will present their demonstrators at a web seminar in April 2023.

More than 100 experts have contributed to the new OE-A Roadmap. The OE-A Roadmap offers end-users, developers and funding bodies alike a deep insight into the technology and applications. “Next to the inspiring demos of the competition, a visit at the OE-A booth is also worthwhile to get your copy of the newly published OE-A Roadmap. For our members is this comprehensive guide of printed electronics complimentary. For non-members we offer an executive summary right at the booth. In case you cannot make it to LOPEC, summary and whitepaper will be for download at oe-a.org right after LOPEC,” adds Klaus Hecker.

Caption: Copper skin film from Avery Dennison (photo: Avery Dennison)

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