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The 5th LOPE-C has established itself as an international market place for printed electronics: With specific applications, successful business deals and an intensive dialog between industry, economy and research. The International Exhibition and Conference for Organic and Printed Electronics in Munich drew to a very successful close with some 1,800 participants from around 40 countries. That means an increase of just over 20 per cent more than last year.
While the automotive industry or consumer electronics are already banking on specific printed electronics applications, many other industry sectors are steadily adding new fields of application. Stephan Berlitz, Head of Lighting Innovations and Functions at AUDI has gained valuable insights at LOPE-C: "We see a great potential in printed electronics at AUDI, particularly for OLED lights. For new developments, we are actively seeking the constant exchange between industry, universities and research institutes. With LOPE-C, we have found exactly the platform which unites all important dialog partners."
The numerous solutions shown at the exhibition impressively demonstrate that printed electronics has made it to the market. 110 exhibitors from 19 countries (as compared to 99 exhibitors from 17 countries in 2012) presented practical applications, such as a seat sensors for the automotive industry, a portable blood sugar meter or tamper-proof identification labels. Wolfgang Mildner, General Chair of LOPE-C and Managing Director of PolyIC, draws a positive conclusion: "Industry, research and the user side all meet at LOPE-C. Only in a common dialog can we swiftly advance this new electronics, which is intended to focus primarily on the requirements of the industry. LOPE-C has fully met these high expectations, with specific applications and manufacturing processes on display, and numerous business relations established."
The importance of LOPE-C as a leading market place for printed electronics is also reflected in the independent survey of participants conducted by the forschungplus institute: 38 percent expect a consistent importance of LOPE-C, while 61 percent believe that the event will become even more important. 97 percent of participants would recommend LOPE-C to others. Says Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Managing Director of Messe München GmbH: "The LOPE-C is an excellent example to demonstrate how events foster new developments, such as in printed electronics. Innovations need these integrated platforms to be able to compete in a global, cross-industry dialogue."
A special visitor magnet was the LOPE-C Demo Line: Visitors were able to see live a unique overview of the complete production process of printed electronics at the production line. As Thomas Kolbusch, Vice President, Coatema Coating Machinery and Exhibition Chair of LOPE-C comments: "In addition to the LOPE-C demo line this year, we generally had a higher number of visitors at the booths. It's quite perceptible that the event increasingly opens up the market, attracting numerous new visitors also from the user side. From the exhibitor side, this was recompensed with far more manufacturing equipment on display than in previous years."
The magnitude of the event is also reflected on an international level: Besides Germany, the top exhibitor countries were (in alphabetical order): France, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Switzerland and USA. New at this year's event was a Japanese joint pavilion as well as first-time exhibitors from Brazil, Denmark and Greece.
The next LOPE-C will be held in Munich from May 26 to 28, 2014.
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Dr. Klaus Hecker
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