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SmartKem and Bangor University Collaboration on Materials for Flexible Display Electronics Awarded ‘Outstanding’

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2014-03-18 17:42:24 -

Collaboration’s success central to validating technology with global flexible display manufacturers

(18th March 2014) - SmartKem Ltd., leading developer of high performance, organic semiconductor materials for flexible displays & electronics, is delighted to announce that a recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Bangor University, UK, has been awarded a grade of ‘Outstanding’ by the Technology Strategy Board.

Working with Bangor University’s School of Electronic Engineering, academics from the Organic Electronics Group characterised and validated SmartKem’s advanced semiconductor materials in transistor form as part of its material development program. The University is a leader in the research of plastic electronics, and Dr Colin Watson, the KTP Associate from the Organic Electronics Group, worked with SmartKem to develop rapid test methodologies for validation of

the semiconductor material's intrinsic electronic characteristics and process protocols for incorporation into transistor test arrays.

This support in validating SmartKem’s technology has been an important factor in the company’s rapid development cycle, contributing to SmartKem quickly attaining a strong position in the Asian display supply chain. It has also been a central component in validating SmartKem’s advanced materials capability to the market and so allowing commercial partnerships with global manufacturers to be forged, including a joint development agreement with a major Asian display manufacturer for the future commercialisation of advanced flexible displays.

The KTP programme is a UK-wide effort to enable businesses to expand their capability competitiveness and productivity through knowledge transfer of technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. The collaboration provided SmartKem with access to Bangor University’s expertise in the field of transistors physics and test capability to enable a more complete understanding of the electronic performance of its organic semiconductors during the development cycle. This has enabled SmartKem to rapidly position itself in the display sector with the only high performance semiconductor that offers OEMs true flexibility in final transistor form. This achievement was recently recognised by industry as SmartKem won the Printed Electronics Asia Award for “Best Material Advancement over the last 24 months.

Steve Kelly, CEO of SmartKem stated: “Few places in the UK could have provided the level of expert technical support and high calibre equipment that we have had access to at Bangor University. The world class expertise and breadth of experience of Professor Taylor’s Organic Electronics Research Group has been of immense value to the company in understanding the performance of our materials.”

Dr Colin Watson of the School of Electronic Engineering worked intimately with the company to process, test and validate its products in TFT form and to define protocols for incorporating their materials into transistor devices - a vital part in the technology transfer process. The outcomes of this partnership have enabled the company to develop an extremely rapid development cycle and validate their materials as a platform technology to the world’s leading electronics manufacturing companies.

Dr. Watson, the KTP Associate from the Organic Electronics Group, comments: “We are delighted to have been recognised for our expertise in the field of transistors and to have had the opportunity to collaborate with SmartKem in progressing the capabilities of their p-FLEX™ organic semiconductors. We look forward to continuing our work in this field and seeing how results of this collaboration impact the flexible display industry.”
Dr Mike Cowin, SmartKem’s Head of Product Development said, “Colin’s contribution to the company’s development cycle has been significant. Colin’s relentless efforts and leading expertise in TFT theory and application have been a real value-add to the company. We owe Colin, Professor Taylor, Bangor University and the KTP programme a debt of gratitude for their contribution to our progress in device validation and product support.”
For more information on SmartKem and its innovative materials, please call 01745 535190, email or visit


Information for Editors

About SmartKem® p-FLEX™

SmartKem’s range of semiconductor inks, SmartKem® p-FLEX™ are used for making truly flexible thin film transistors (TFTs) using much simpler, lower temperature processes such as spin coat, ink jet and ultimately roll to roll production. This solution based semiconductor allows the possibility of high throughput production systems for the first time as opposed to the more traditional batch processes employed by alternative inorganic materials such as conventional amorphous or polycrystalline silicon technology. SmartKem’s materials are the only semiconductor on the market that offers display manufacturers true flexibility in its final transistor form.

About SmartKem

SmartKem is a leading supplier of high performance flexible organic semiconductor materials for the manufacture of flexible displays and electronics. SmartKem’s materials can be solution processed onto lightweight low cost polymer films to deliver truly flexible circuits and transistors. SmartKem’s core offering responds to the demand for low cost, low energy, lightweight, rugged electronics that can be manufactured at room temperature by a range of manufacturing methods and ultimately by roll to roll printing. SmartKem has an unrivalled pipeline of new materials that are under adoption via chosen business partners and a business model that focuses on delivering expertise in molecular design, synthesis, application engineering and technology transfer to our customers. SmartKem was a recent winner of the Printed Electronics Asia Award for Best Advanced Material Development 2013.

For further press information please contact: David Bertram, The Scott Partnership, 1 Whiteside, Station Road, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, United Kingdom Tel: + 44 (0)1477 539539 Fax: +44 (0)1477 539540 E-mail:

Contact Information:

Optic Technium
Fford William Morgan
St Asaph Business Park
St Asaph
LL17 0JD

Contact Person:

Phone: +44 (0) 1477 539539
email: email

Kath Darlington
Phone: 01477 539539

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