SusFE will develop a sustainable design and production platform for the next generation of wearable and diagnostic devices.
Europe currently has a leading position in key digital technologies. However, functional electronics is one of several emerging digital transformation areas with no established players, but with the potential to significantly disrupt strategic sectors. Harnessing the full potential of functional electronics will enable Europe to exploit cutting-edge climate-neutral digital solutions to strengthen its leadership, and to seize on emerging opportunities by addressing existing technological gaps in multiple sectors.
Functional Electronics has found application in a wide range of sectors and domains including in hybrid Integrated circuits (ICs) or flexible systems. Its global market was worth €15.4billion in 2017 and is expected to reach €37.7billion by 2023, a CAGR of 11%. Despite this growth, functional electronics can generate additional value via the adoption and implementation of new and efficient eco-design approaches at product, process, and business model levels.
SusFE will advance the development of functional electronics for green and circular economy by developing a sustainable design and production platform for roll-to-roll manufacturing of the next generation of wearable and diagnostic devices that combine a SusFE toolbox of sustainable components comprising novel flexible integrated circuit (FlexIC) on polymer substrate with ultra-low power printed sensors/biosensors, and wireless communication driven by an organic and recyclable bioenzymatic fuel cell. This will lead to highly integrated and autonomously operating systems that are lightweight, environmentally sustainable, and low-cost.
SusFE uses of a combination of sustainable materials and processes to deliver climate-neutral digital solutions including wound monitoring, self-blood sampling/testing and point-of-care devices.
- To deliver innovative (beyond state-of-the-art) R2R functional electronics manufacturing approach and specifications for next generation functional electronics components and systems (e.g., medical wearables, IVD, POC Diagnostics).
- To deliver circuitry on flexible polymer substrate linear conditioning for electrochemical (capacitance and voltametric) sensing and analog to digital interfacing – using low cost and non-silicon manufacturing processes.
- To deliver innovative method of integration of biological receptor deposition with R2R functional electronics manufacturing.
- To deliver Eco-friendly power using recyclable bioenzymatic fuel cell in an R2R process.
- Deliver climate neutral sensor components.
- Deliver: (i) Smart wound monitoring bandage with integrated physical and chemical sensors and antenna for communication; (ii) a recyclable polymer and paper hybrid intelligent blood self-sampling device with a clock function, temperature measurement and power source; and (iii) novel POC diagnostics device.
- Achieve TRL4-5 for innovative functional electronics manufacturing processes and products.
- Maximize SusFE Impact via dissemination/exploitation measures including engagement of relevant value/supply chain stakeholders.
The impact of SusFE project will be based on:
- These new digitally enabled wearable devices will directly impact clinical decision-making, improving the quality of patient care and reducing the cost of care via patient rehabilitation outside of hospitals. Healthcare providers will save considerable costs as a result of the wider adoption of SusFE innovative wearable devices. This is due improved clinical decision making combined increased levels of self-monitoring and diagnostics.
- SusFE’s innovations will foster sustainable and climate neutral functional electronics while at the same time expand the applicability of the R2R manufacturing process across several sectors, thereby increase the market size and open up new opportunities. These advantages will result in less CO2 emission and aid the EU in meeting its pledge of carbon neutrality by 2050, while creating hundreds of new high value direct jobs and thousands of supply chain jobs.
- SusFE is tackling the challenge of increasing the sustainability of functional electronics and will have significant direct economic impact on the medical wearables sector, and indirect impact on several others (due to technology spillover).
- These technological innovations will easily spill over across sectors enabling digital technological breakthroughs in other sectors such as agriculture, environment, etc.
- SusFE will help the EU and national governments avoid hefty legal fines associated with noncompliance.
- SusFE will deliver sustainable R2R manufacturing processes for climate-neutral and sustainable functional electronics (wearable devices) that reduce energy consumption and waste during use and are recyclable or can be disposed without creating pollution, leading to 70% reduction in carbon footprint/CO2 emissions compared to current practices.
WP1: Eco-design and specification of R2R processes and novel functional electronics components and systems:
WP1 aims to determine business requirements for the SUSFE solution, delivering two key objectives:
- To identify, analyse and specify in detail use cases of industrial and commercial interest.
- To identify, analyse and specify B2C/B2B business models for technical partners selling SUSFE platform hardware and software and services to the biotechnology manufacturing supply chain.
WP2: Sensor fabrication and characterization:
The main objective of this WP is to fabricate and characterise an array of physical and chemo/biosensors that are amenable for high volume and low-cost manufacture. Specifically, we will create sensors elements for temperature, strain, pH, pO2, CRP and nucleic acid.
WP3: Analog and Digital Circuitry on Polymer (FlexIC):
WP3 aims to develop FlexICs for the wound monitoring and for the blood sample time systems.
WP4: Power management – bioenzymatic fuel cell:
To provide a printed paper biofuel cell that meets the power and energy requirements of the electronic platform.
WP5: Integration of components in R2R for production, testing, validation and LCA/LCCA:
Create a R2R manufacturing process for the assembly of an eco-friendly modular flexible electronic devices.
WP6: Project management, dissemination, communication, and exploitation:
- Assure proper interaction between partners, establish effective communication with European Commission (EC) and identify conflicts and risks.
- Protect background/foreground IP, promote the SusFE solution and develop a plan for the exploitation and sustainability of SusFE.
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