Plastic electronics arrive in Sedgefield

A new £10m Plastic Electronics Technology Centre (PETeC) is to be built in County Durham to produce flexible elecronics printed on plastics for ultra-thin display screens and solar panels

PETeC is a major facility that will provide clean room, prototyping facilities and laboratories for a range of projects emerging from Newcastle Science City and for companies and universities carrying out research in the burgeoning field of plastic electronics.

RDA One NorthEast and County Durham Economic Partnership are investing a combined £6.2m, with the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding the remainder. The facility will be based at the NETPark Incubator science park at Sedgefield in County Durham and managed by Cenamps, a national centre for emerging small-scale technologies.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR, formely the DTI) is contributing a further £2.1m to be invested in the first platform installation in the Centre. Specialised facilities and expertise will be available to companies seeking to develop new products and services for use in a wide range of markets. PETeC also provides space-enabling companies to engage closely with the universities, conducting collaborative research as part of Science City.

The research and development facility will house scientists developing innovative printing technologies including inkjet and screen printing technology – techniques that enable electronics to be printed directly onto thin plastic sheets.