Panel II:

The U.S. Interest:
Security, Manufacturing, and Growth

Moderator:
Jon Epstein
Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman

Mr. Epstein opened the panel by noting Senator Bingaman’s longstanding interest in science and technology, including his efforts to support the LED industry in its early stages. The senator also had a strong interest in flexible electronics, he said, and in “the competitive nature of our nation.” Mr. Epstein voiced his concern about insufficient continuity of U.S. policy, however. In his experience, he said, the United States “develops great ideas, and gets them funded by the government.” Too soon, however, the program ends, or competitor countries see the same promise and invest more heavily and quickly. “Then we are the ones who are importing the technology,” he said. “The continuity issue is one I worry about.”

ARMY APPLICATIONS FOR FLEXIBLE DISPLAYS

John Pellegrino
U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Dr. Pellegrino, of the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, said he would describe the Army’s approach to flexible electronics, beginning with a discussion of the term itself. The word “flexible,” he said, is important in itself, but along with flexibility come other attributes: “it can be inherently rugged, is likely to save packaging weight and cost, and can be printed by a roll-to-roll or other large-scale and efficient process.”

All these attributes have value for the Army; for example, a flexible or “conformable” material may have great medical value, such as the ability to incorporate various multifunctional sensors that detect situational awareness, stress, fatigue, or mental function, or to place sensors in conformable bandages.



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PROCEEDINGS 49 Panel II: The U.S. Interest: Security, Manufacturing, and Growth Moderator: Jon Epstein Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman Mr. Epstein opened the panel by noting Senator Bingaman’s long- standing interest in science and technology, including his efforts to support the LED industry in its early stages. The senator also had a strong interest in flexible electronics, he said, and in “the competitive nature of our nation.” Mr. Epstein voiced his concern about insufficient continuity of U.S. policy, however. In his experience, he said, the United States “develops great ideas, and gets them funded by the government.” Too soon, however, the program ends, or competitor countries see the same promise and invest more heavily and quickly. “Then we are the ones who are importing the technology,” he said. “The continuity issue is one I worry about.” ARMY APPLICATIONS FOR FLEXIBLE DISPLAYS John Pellegrino U.S. Army Research Laboratory Dr. Pellegrino, of the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, said he would describe the Army’s approach to flexible electronics, beginning with a discussion of the term itself. The word “flexible,” he said, is important in itself, but along with flexibility come other attributes: “it can be inherently rugged, is likely to save packaging weight and cost, and can be printed by a roll-to-roll or other large-scale and efficient process.” All these attributes have value for the Army; for example, a flexible or “conformable” material may have great medical value, such as the ability to incorporate various multifunctional sensors that detect situational awareness, stress, fatigue, or mental function, or to place sensors in conformable bandages.

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50 FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS Sensors in flexible materials may be used by the military not only for people, but also for vehicles, engines, or temporary structures. Many applications of flexible displays, he said, can find similar or even identical uses in both the military and the civilian commercial marketplace. The military versions may have to be packaged more ruggedly to endure operation in extreme environments, such as higher temperature or lower humidity, with no change in capability. The military also likes to be an early adopter, he said, so it can maintain a technology edge and give its soldiers an advantage. In some prognostic and diagnostic technologies, he said, the aircraft industry is in a position of leadership, having learned to place various sensors on airframes and air structures. Although these structures are not strictly regarded as flexible, they are carrying the kinds of cheap, printed electronics that can be situated in many ways. Such applications can be adapted directly into the military for use in both helicopter and general aviation. Tracking Military Equipment A central need for the military is tracking the enormous flow of equipment and material that flows overseas and returns to the United States. A current goal, said Mr. Pellegrino, is to make better use of electronic circuits that can be placed easily on every kind of equipment and tracked accurately. He noted the leadership of Wal-Mart in this area, which has pioneered the use of printable electronic labels and other tracking devices for merchandise. In building more capabilities into flexible displays, he said, the military will begin with fully flexible circuit boards and add further displays that may involve many other technologies, such as solar cells, thermoelectrics, and photovoltaics. Such different technologies can be integrated into several places to make the kinds of lightweight, rugged devices suitable to military uses. One obvious need, he said, is good displays for e-readers that can be used for maintenance manuals, situational awareness, robotic controllers, and many other applications. Such readers, perhaps resembling the iPad, would provide the soldier with a device that may be rechargeable and easy to carry. It may show high-quality graphic images, such as photos and maps, provide orders of the day and any other information, and network with other devices simply and securely. One of the greatest contributions of such a device would be its light weight and low power needs. The average soldier, he said, carries gear that may weigh nearly 100 pounds for a mission; the batteries needed to power communication and other devices account for up to 30 percent of that weight. “So we need to reduce power consumption and make it easier to generate the power.” Successful use of the new technologies, he said, would depend on their integration. The readers might require one kind of program for storing and reading maps, another for information access, another for health monitoring, and still another for unattended ground sensors that can be mostly or wholly self- powered. The antennas would require more power, perhaps generated by solar

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PROCEEDINGS 51 cells or supplied by a fuel cell and battery. “The key is to have an integrated package that can bring all the pieces together,” he said. Larger Arrays and Grids Beyond the level of sensors and circuits, he said, the Army would explore larger arrays and grids of devices that could be manufactured by a roll- to-roll or hybrid process. These arrays and grids, which could gather both geospatial and temporal information, might include flexible solar cells on tents, mess halls, or other structures in the field, generating their own power at efficiencies of at least 30 percent. This would reduce the logistical load of transported fuel. Already, he said, a number of balloons, airships, and other aerostats gather visible and some infrared data nearly around the clock, but their sensor pods are fairly expensive and require maintenance. These drawbacks could be reduced by turning the skin of the aerostat into a large-area sensor, coupled with a large-area charging device to provide some of its power. He said that the Army is also studying the use of sensors and reconfigurable antennas on the skin of aerostats, micro air vehicles, or small unmanned aerial vehicles. Another area of rapid development, Dr. Pellegrino said, is microautonomous systems, such as microrobotics. In partnership with the Michigan Center for Microelectronics and Sensors, the Army is studying a number of handheld devices that can be released into urban buildings, for example, to gather information about hostages, weapons caches, and other conditions. Some concepts include various “backpackable” units that can release smaller robots capable of walking, flying, crawling, or hopping while carrying various sensors in their skins. These skins can also contain conformable photocells and antennas. Dr. Pellegrino said that the current challenge is to integrate the many different building blocks that exist in bits and pieces—imaging sensors and arrays, energy harvesting and storage, manufacturing and packaging, multiscale modeling and simulation—into a coherent industry. He said that “first substantiations” of many of these applications had been achieved, including the order-of-magnitude improvement of mobility and stability over what is currently available in amorphous silicon technology. The primary “pacing issue,” he said, is the manufacturing and packaging technologies. “The people driving the applications would buy any of these things, this instant, if they existed,” he said. “They do exist, in configurations of ones and twos, but I can’t go place an order for 10,000 this afternoon.” Developing the needed manufacturing science and capability, he said, depends on multiple complex challenges, such as reliability, resolution, placing the needed structures on the substrate, and encapsulation of large areas. “We believe there are lots of solutions potentially out there, but we need to integrate

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52 FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS them for specific applications. We need to focus on applications, but also on the manufacturing to enable those applications. Then those orders will come.” A Need for Partnerships Dr. Pellegrino touched on the need for different kinds of partnerships. He noted that the Flexible Display Center in Arizona was a “nontraditional” kind of partnership, including industry as a full participant with the academic community. This helps to solve the “interstitial” problems between different domains, he said, and allows the partnership to focus on the applications important to the industry, as well as those the Army needs. At the same time, he said, until the industry can move past the fundamental manufacturing challenges, “no single industry is going to be able to jump ahead. This is just one way of getting some of those common problems solved.” He noted that while cost is always a consideration for the Army, it was probably not primary. The value of the products would balance cost in many ways, such as the new uses, “inherent ruggedization,” and reduced weight of battlefield structures. Already, he said, the partnership was seeing the value of creating large-area devices that had relatively high resolution and that could be lifted off and packaged as a flexible organic device. Dr. Pellegrino concluded with a note about his experience at the Flexible Display Center with “all the wonderful partners.” As the results began to come in, he said, the tendency was simply to take the traditional technology and replace it with what was effectively a plastic substrate. “So let me see,” he said. “If I have a rigid controller on my wrist and I’m just going to change the glass to plastic, what did that buy? A little savings in packaging. Almost nobody had the imagination to take advantage of the extra degrees of freedom. I submit that this technology has many more degrees of freedom than we’ve begun to plumb at this point. Some companies, individuals, and universities are beginning to explore that, and I predict that there’s a whole lot more out there.” THE ROLE OF DARPA IN PRINTABLE ELECTRONICS Devanand Shenoy Microsystems Technology Office DARPA Dr. Shenoy, a program officer at the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) at DARPA, began with a brief overview of his agency and office. He recalled some of the accomplishments of DARPA, including its leading role in creating the Internet, global positioning system, and stealth technology, and said that the focus of the MTO was to leverage opportunities in electronics, photonics, and especially MEMS. “The key for the development of programs within MTO,” he said, “is the fact that we are looking to leverage breakthroughs, not just pushing some area because we think it’s interesting. I

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PROCEEDINGS 53 need to say this, because it addresses the question why are we not spending more in this area.” In the area of portable electronics, he said, a primary opportunity is to work at low cost. This is a result of moving past the current industrial approach of using foundries and masks into thinking in terms of custom design and rapid prototyping. “This is unique,” he said. In fact, he said, some tasks done by conventional processing take about six weeks, but with printing can be done in about six days. “There will be tremendous savings when we are able to print,” he said. “But you have to achieve the performance to make this more interesting.” Dr. Shenoy reviewed some of the most promising and application-rich areas, including thermal applications, portable imaging technologies, and imaging sensors integrated with amplifying circuitry. In the last area, he said, neither the sensors not the amplifiers were yet good enough, and DARPA was working to address those challenges. Like Dr. Pellegrino, he emphasized the promise of physiological monitoring for warfighters, in which sensors could continuously monitor vital signs; he also mentioned structural prognostics, by which sensors could be placed on platforms to continuously monitor wear and tear on systems. The Challenge of High Performance The challenges for all these applications, he said, lie in trying to achieve the required performance. As an example, he cited the Hemispherical Area Detector for Imaging program, which seeks to mimic the function and simplicity of the human eye. The traditional camera has many drawbacks in concept, including the need for several lenses, which are complex, expensive, and heavy. Achieving a 114-degree field of view requires 14 lenses, 2 of them aspherical. “What if we could mimic the human eye?” he asked. “It has a single lens and a curved retina, and a much wider spectral range than cameras. The challenge has been to develop these curved focal planes, because the manufacturing technologies were all developed for flat surfaces. If you could have a single camera with a very wide point of view,” he said, “think about the military applications you can enable.” DARPA and partners are now developing technologies that address that challenge. Sea Bright, a company co-founded by Nobel Laureate Alan Heeger, had demonstrated a 128-by-128 photodetector array on a curved surface with a very small radius of curvature, which is the “real challenge.” He said that Lincoln Laboratories and others had achieved curved surfaces in the past, but the challenge is to achieve the 1-centimeter range and still have enough pixels. He said that his lab had demonstrated this with pixels of 50 microns. They had processed the signals using metal oxide TFTs on a curved surface, using new

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54 FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS maskless laser-write lithography. “It has been a huge success,” he said, “to demonstrate we can go beyond conventional electronics and enable some new applications.” Higher Resolution for Printing In the area of printable electronics, he said, the challenges were more obvious than the solutions. The objective is to create printing technologies that can enable custom electronics without lithography. Considerable investment has gone into displays and lighting, but less into the necessary work on sensors. For printing, he said, the performance of printing technology must improve from a resolution of 20 microns to about 1 micron, which would allow “a huge leap ahead in terms of the performance of transistors and other components.” Also needed is to significantly improve the transconductance of the transistors. “You have to talk about these numbers,” he said, “and then ask whether you can really achieve something that’s much better than what we have today.” Other building blocks for printable electronics include operational amplifiers, which have been used for many years in conventional electronics. The current research question, he said, is whether this performance can be improved using printable electronics technologies, which would enable sensors that are flexible, can be distributed, and have other advances of flexible electronics. “The other building blocks are also very important,” he said, “including batteries that are printable. The challenge is really to improve the technology by developing the specific components, assigning performance metrics to them, and showing that we can actually achieve those metrics.” The final example he mentioned was the vision of the flexible x-ray imager, an improvement over conventional x-ray in terms of size, weight, and performance. The portable medical radiography devices in use today are very heavy, and transporting an injured warfighter from the field to the nearest medical facility takes an average of half an hour. A goal is the ability to perform instant x-ray imaging as soon as a warfighter is wounded, which is a high priority for DoD. “In principle,” he said, “we can actually scan the entire body in minutes and be able to locate the shrapnel from an IED blast, for example. This would have a huge impact on the DoD’s ability to enable new missions.” Dr. Shenoy ended by stepping back from specific technologies, which he called “absolutely important,” to offer a broader and more personal view of the issue. “I think that for the industry to get excited about it,” he said, “and see where the opportunity is, you’ve got to show how you can reduce cost. In other words, the challenge for all of us is not so much on the technology side now, or on competing with conventional electronics. It’s more on creating new applications and markets, developing low-cost manufacturing, and making clear what the business model will be based on those markets. This is where the real opportunity lies.”

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PROCEEDINGS 55 NIST AND THE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION PROGRAM: AN EARLY INVESTOR IN FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS Michael A. Schen Technology Innovation Program (TIP) National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Dr. Schen, senior scientist and advisor to the director of the Technology Innovation Program (TIP), said he would review the “innovation infrastructure” that is necessary not only for the flexible electronics technology, but for any “embryonic, transformational” technology confronting American business. He began with a summary of the mission of NIST: to use a variety of technical tools to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness. Those tools, he said, are found within the major programs of NIST, including its laboratories, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, TIP, and the Baldrige Quality Program. The tools of NIST that are designed to strengthen the innovation infrastructure include a combination of research tools for wholly new areas of science and technology and measurement, and standards tools for maturing technologies. These tools allow for accurate comparisons not only of performance and function, but also for the frameworks required by international trade. NIST also takes part in various PPPs that are designed to address and accelerate critical aspects of the innovation infrastructure. NIST is interested in flexible electronics, he said, for several reasons. First, as a part of the Department of Commerce, NIST plays a role in advancing leadership on the part of every industrial community, and in the case of flexible electronics, “that leadership is apparent.” In addition, in both the technology as a whole and in the subtechnologies required to support it, NIST is charged with building and strengthening the metrology by which new materials and devices are improved and integrated. A good example, he said, is the need to better measure and analyze the complex nanostructures within the device elements of flexible electronics. In addition, Dr. Schen said, the technologies of flexible electronics demand manufacturing innovations of high technical risk, which means that sources of private capital may not be willing to invest. NIST has a role in advancing promising technologies that face such a combination of business and technical risk. One reason that flexible electronics is promising in a national context, he said, is its potential to generate jobs, improve the nation’s international competitiveness, and address a variety of other critical national needs, such as the need for the best defense-related technologies. What, he asked, is flexible or printable electronics? “From our point of view,” he said, “I’d like to suggest that it is not only a way of manufacturing,

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56 FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS but also a potential new set or family of goods. It’s not only the what, but the how, and it’s important that resources be made available to address both aspects of the problem.” To address the “how” questions, Dr. Schen said that NIST’s laboratory programs were focused on both materials processing and electronics aspects of flexible electronic devices. To date, TIP had funded a scale-up in advanced materials competitions for 2009 and 2010, and for critical processes in 2010. To address the “why,” he said, industry was providing to TIP its vision of the key gaps that public-private partnerships can address. Helping Technologies Advance Dr. Schen summarized the ways NIST tried to apply elements of its toolkit to help technologies advance. The process begins with the discovery, or proof of principle, in which the NIST laboratories and perhaps the newly established construction grant program can help. As the technology begins to mature, NIST may become part of a consortium, such as the FlexTech Alliance, that helps to nurture the technology. This can both strengthen leadership of a new firm and also clarify the objective of the technology and gaps that must be addressed. NIST responds to this process both by assisting individual firms and by partnering with the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (iNEMI). He said that NIST used the concept of TRLs to evaluate progress, in much the same way as DoD, ARPA-E, and other organizations. As a technology continues to emerge, he said, NIST laboratory programs continue their involvement, as does TIP. There is also the opportunity for MEP to help facilitate linkage between users and providers of technology. This program specifically helps to lower business risk and promote the confidence of small firms as they move forward. Dr. Schen predicted that flexible and printable electronics were poised to have a “global, disruptive, and transformational impact.” Citing results from a leading market research firm,5 he said that the market for printed and thin-film electronics is projected to grow from $1.9 billion in revenues in 2010 to $55.1 billion in 2020, “which would represent a doubling every 18 to 20 months.” Historically, he noted, the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) of NIST had been an early funder of this effort, from which he drew several lessons. Individual projects, he said, were primarily vertical consortia that had a focus on manufacturing, emphasizing prototyping and a systems approach to integration. TIP, which superseded ATP, had begun to offer competitions in 2008 and to focus on manufacturing in 2009 and 2010. This was done not only to accelerate availability of advanced materials at scaled-up quantities and 5 IDTechEx Ltd. is a global firm that specializes in consulting and market research on radio- frequency identification (RFID) labels, smart packaging, and printed electronics.

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PROCEEDINGS 57 improve reliability for device and systems manufacturers, but also to tackle critical process advances embodied in new visions of manufacturing. Emphasis on Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Teamwork The dialogue about manufacturing, he said, started in 1998 and 1999 with industry’s vision of both functionality and potential applications. Emerging from that vision, he said, was a set of manufacturing rules. Since then, the problems had become more complex and the insertion points more broad. “This is a continuously evolving landscape,” he said. “I would suggest that the frontiers in technology will continue to drive these concepts that were delivered 10 years ago: the emphases on manufacturing, the supply chain, and teamwork, especially on teams that are vertically aligned.” He said that ATP did make key contributions in this development, first by bringing together players in an embryonic industry. It also helped forge a vision of where the industry needed to go. Since then, he said, the industry had moved rapidly and was now on “the cusp of a rapid explosion.” This heightens the need for consortia that play a leadership role, he said, pointing to iNEMI as a good example. “That will continue to be necessary,” he said, “along with demonstration of manufacturing capabilities and integrating manufacturing with processing and materials.” He said that value of the partnership, beyond raising technical capabilities, was to strengthen domestic capacity to participate in the global marketplace. Dr. Schen said that TIP was distinctly different from the predecessor ATP in its orientation toward translational research that addressed critical national needs. It seeks to do this by providing early-stage money on a cost- shared basis, which mitigates the high technical risk of new technologies. The program allows for the early-stage translation of ideas, he said, and is oriented toward the needs of industry. He said that printable electronics represented a “solution pathway” that would affect many sectors of civil infrastructure, including energy and health care, as well as defense. During the first year of funding for manufacturing, he said, NIST had been oriented toward scaling up production from research quantities of electronic materials, including printable inks, to producing quantities that device manufacturers could depend on for precommercial work. They were also helping to leverage early-stage investments in nanotechnology. A Need for Broader Dialogue to Expand Industry Leadership Dr. Schen then turned to the need for a broader dialogue to expand the industry leadership and the role that NIST programs can play in this regard. He touched on nanomanufacturing and suggested that the pathway to higher

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58 FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS performance, new applications, and new market opportunities would depend on demonstrating both the integration of functionality and the capacity of the functionality in any given case. “You’re seeing that investment in nanotechnology,” he said. “The National Nanotechnology Initiative has reached a point in flexible electronics and printable electronics where nano-enabled inks are on the horizon. That represents a whole new toolkit.” He said that the supply chain was dominated by small and medium- sized enterprises, including the startups from universities, federal labs, and other sources. These startups had the vision to move ahead but were still fragile financially. He said that programs such as TIP and NIST, and consortia with industry, were important in nurturing new enterprises so they can compete globally. At early stages of firm growth, NIST measurement tools helped the firms expand and export. A challenge ahead of NIST, he said, was how best to align the overall priorities of the institute with those of industry. NIST priorities include strengthening its laboratories and facilities according to critical national priorities. It also plans to promote extramural programs that link it more closely with industry and academia, and to emphasize partnerships with state and regional leadership. Dr. Schen concluded by summarizing what the new field of flexible electronics means to the nation. The field, he said, represents not only a technology of interest to existing enterprises—some of which are large—but also a growth arena for new firms. The entry of new firms brings the potential for job growth, and a potential laboratory for studying how stronger collaboration among the sectors can improve results. “Improving the efficiency of that innovation and of translational research,” he said, “whether between private-sector entities or between public and private sector, is going to be necessary if we are to be successful in a global way.” ONE STATE’S INITIATIVE: ADVANCING FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS IN OHIO Byron Clayton NorTech Dr. Clayton said that the state of Ohio had introduced its own flexible electronics initiative, called NorTech, and that he had noticed four trends. The first reflected the remarks of many other speakers about the need for government investment. In Ohio, he said, his organization viewed investment in flexible electronics as a larger enterprise involving the state, federal government, and private firms. “We think it’s part of the state’s job to help spur that private investment.” Second, he said that the trend of cultivating collaboration across sectors, also mentioned by other speakers, was an emphasis in Ohio. A third trend was the broad effort to help firms scale up their roll-to-roll manufacturing

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PROCEEDINGS 59 capability. The fourth trend, not yet begun, would reflect the need for northeastern Ohio and for the state as a whole to stimulate market pull. He said that NorTech was a technology-based economic development organization, based in Cleveland, which covered 21 counties. Its specific role is to focus on emerging technology industries, with a current emphasis on advanced energy and flexible electronics. He said that the strategy of NorTech was not simply to raise money from the state, but to use that money to leverage federal and private funding as well. As examples of this, he said that the region had recently been awarded an i6 Challenge,6 as well as a Small Business Administration (SBA) award specifically to help grow the existing flexible electronics cluster. Building Relationships Across Sectors At NorTech, he said, the first objective was to build relationships across sectors, for example, with funders who work with universities, small medium and large businesses, and the federal and state governments. Another objective was to draw the activities of industry together in the form of roadmaps. He had just completed one for the flexible electronics industry, in partnership with Dr. Gamota, another speaker at the symposium. “The roadmap we’ve developed is a strategic roadmap,” he said. “We know there are technology roadmaps already developed, so we focused on what do we need to do to grow the industry. This includes collaboration, investment, scaling up manufacturing, and focusing on market pull.” Dr. Clayton discussed a model that he said had worked for NorTech. Technology commercialization was imagined as a continuum of five stages: imagining, integrating, demonstrating, market entry, and growth. The program is structured to allow the infusion of money at the most appropriate point of this technology commercialization continuum. To do so, he said, the model had been subdivided into several program levels. The largest was the Ohio Third Frontier Investment, a $2.3 billion program designed to focus on the first three phases: doing the basic research, incubating the new firm, and developing the products to the proof-of-concept stage. The Third Frontier program had begun as a $1.6 billion program in 2002. It was placed before the voters in a referendum that failed to pass. NorTech succeeded in placing it as a bipartisan bond issue a second time, when it passed with about 52 percent of voters in favor of it. In 2010, the issue was presented again as a bond issue, to extend the investment by $700 million for three more 6 The i6 Challenge is a $12 million innovation competition sponsored by the Economic Development Administration.

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60 FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS years, and this time 62 percent of voters approved it. “If you think about what Ohio has gone through during the last recession,” said Dr. Clayton, “and the number of manufacturing jobs we’ve lost, it’s refreshing to know that people understand that we need to invest in technology.” The next level was the Edison Programs, which had two divisions. One was for business incubators—specifically technology incubators—of which the state had about 13. The other was for Edison Technology Centers, of which there were six distributed around the state. These were designed primarily to help existing businesses commercialize their products and grow. The third level was designed to attract investors, featuring a 25 percent state tax credit offered to people who invest in technology. A part of this incentive package was the Ohio Venture Capital Fund, a fund of funds that provided funding to firms that channel at least 50 percent of their investments into technology firms in Ohio. Within these broad programs, he said, were a number of subprograms that apply money to different areas, including small business, universities, entrepreneurs, and economic development organizations. The strategy is to approach investment simultaneously from multiple directions. The Need for Clusters Dr. Clayton said that Ohio had seven programs specifically to foster cluster development, but it had not supported one for flexible electronics. Even without that support, he said, a flexible electronics cluster emerged on its own. “That shows the power of what can happen as an industry emerges,” he said. He estimated that while flexible electronics was relatively new to Ohio as an area of investment, several programs had invested about $8 million in the field since 2008. He said that he expected additional investment soon from the Ohio Third Frontier program, which had spent only $1 billion of its $2.3 billion, all of which must be spent within five years. He discussed where the Third Frontier money had actually been invested in relation to the five phases. Although it had followed the plan’s objective of supporting the first three phases of imaging, incubating, and demonstrating, it had invested almost nothing in the last two phases, especially stimulating market pull. He said that NorTech would probably request state support to help stimulate demand and connect the cluster members to that demand. His final point was to compare the two existing clusters, one for photovoltaics and the other for flexible display and electronics. The PV cluster was in northwestern Ohio, the flexible display cluster in northeastern Ohio. A report by SRI International, completed around the beginning of 2010, attributed about 5,000 to 6,000 jobs to the first and about 1,000 jobs to the second. “The encouraging fact,” he said, “was that both continue to grow even in the economic times we’re in.”

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PROCEEDINGS 61 Dr. Clayton summarized some lessons NorTech had learned from its technology investments in Ohio. A key was to develop a shared agenda among cluster members that included pursuit of not only state funding, but federal and private funding as well. A second point was to connect competencies across the state. The northeast and northwest had now connected, he said, and a near-term focus would be to strengthen that connection and add others to develop a more widely shared agenda and greater numbers. A third lesson was the importance of a cluster development program, which was now a current focus. A final point was the importance of encouraging the state to provide funding for market pull. NorTech was planning to do that by using an SBA grant to create a pilot project and show that stimulating market pull does work. In conclusion, Dr. Clayton stated that Ohio had done a good deal for flexible electronics in the state. “We have one of the best state programs,” he said, “and continue to receive some kudos for what we’ve done. However, there is a lot of work to do.” Specifically, he reiterated that the end goal is not to gather state money, but to use state money to raise funding from federal and private sources. He said that the Third Frontier program had leveraged its state money by eight or nine to one, as indicated by the STI study, and that NorTech had created about 54,000 jobs across the state, including a portion for flexible electronics. “So this strategy can be very successful.” DISCUSSION A questioner asked panel members how much money they had invested in flexible electronics and how much in flexible displays and lighting. Dr. Schen of NIST said that within the last year, its first award cycle had focused on manufacturing. “We’re not funding any individual device or systems work, but so far we’ve been supporting research on inks.” He said that the amount invested had been roughly $15 million to $20 million over the three- to five-year life of the awards. Dr. Pellegrino of the Army said that, “in very round numbers,” the Army was spending about $2 million a year on the Flexible Display Center, much of which supported research related to flexible electronics. In addition, several million dollars went into related activities, such as infrastructure, developing tool sets, and early applications of materials devices, an amount that holds relatively steady from year to year. This amount was increased by matching dollars from industry, which, in the case of the FlexTech Alliance, was a 60-40 match. Dr. Shenoy of DARPA said that the size of any program would depend on the objective. As an example, the Micro-Systems Technology Office may invest “something like $10 million per program per year.” A curved focal plane program he was managing received $25 million for four to five years. The work

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62 FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS of his office was also accompanied by other related programs, such as a flexible electronics program recently initiated by the Defense Sciences Office. Dr. Clayton added that in the roadmapping process, he asks cluster partners how much money is needed. He said the cluster had estimated a need for $100 million to accomplish the region’s goals over the next seven years. Dr. Wessner said that the spending environment being described was a familiar one, with DARPA having access to ample funding, TIP having less money, and the states struggling to participate. “We don’t do enough in that transitions area, or in the standards area,” he said, “neither of which is trivial. We tend to underplay the challenge of exporting to other markets, and more the question of how American firms can make these products and sell them profitably.” Dr. Taussig asked a question about the change from ATP to TIP, by which large companies seemed to be excluded under some circumstances. Dr. Schen said that indeed the legislation only allows for SMEs, as well as universities and other entities, to receive federal money. But he said that large companies can still participate, both to nurture the technology and also to have access to it should it be successful. In this sense, he said the paradigm for large- business participation had shifted in that business could now participate in the role of a venture investor. “They pay their own way, which helps lower technical and business risk by stimulating the supply chain as well as cultivating potential clients or customers. Thus TIP is stimulating at not only the front end but also the back end of a large enterprise. But that message is not well understood yet.” A questioner followed up, asking, “How much coordination has been going on in the federal agencies in funding the flexible electronics effort?” Dr. Shenoy of DARPA said that this depends on what each agency and office is trying to do. As an example, he said that no other agency was doing just what his program was doing. “That’s the first thing we do at DARPA—we spend the first year or more holding meetings or workshops to make sure we are not duplicating someone else’s effort. Then we operate in a certain way. We work to a technology readiness level (TRL) of 2 to 4, and then hand it over to the services. That’s the DARPA model. We don’t stay in this for too long. Once we review the risks, we hand it over and help them transition it to specific platforms.” Dr. Schen of NIST added that the work of NIST is enhanced by the strong contributions from the NIST laboratories and partners in other agencies, in addition to some of their contractors. A questioner from the audience asked about coordination among agencies and others working in this area. Dr. Andrews of L-3 said that the investment was still very small, with the largest appearing to be from the Army at $15 million or so per year. He also noted Dr. Pellegrino’s comment that the largest challenge is to improve manufacturing technology. But he said it would be useful to think about what a major coordinated effort would cost.

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PROCEEDINGS 63 Dr. Pellegrino said that extra funding for flexible displays would certainly accelerate the current progress being made and integrated with the commercial sector. The same might hold true for more general flexible electronics, he said. With funding on the order of $10 million to $15 million per year, “you could make great inroads into the applications and manufacturing.” If $100 million a year were matched and continued over five years, one might expect “a couple of different applications spaces,” and assurance of real progress in at least one of them. Dr. Clayton said that one of his cluster member companies had taken a different approach. After receiving both state and federal funding, the company had hit upon a product that seemed to have commercial appeal and took it directly to market. The idea was a flexible, rewritable display on a writing pad, which they called a boogie board. To the surprise of many, it became a fast- selling item on Amazon, and the company quickly added employees, shifts, and revenue. They also learned more quickly than most companies about scaling up their manufacturing, “because they had real customers banging on their door.” In the cluster, other companies were now saying they might like to look out for applications of their own that they could commercialize. “Maybe it’s not the sexiest product,” he said, “but it’s out there, it’s working, and the company is scaling up and learning how to manufacture.”