The organic and printed electronics industry is growing steadily. This was the clear message from the latest Business Climate Survey conducted by the OE-A (Organic and Printed Electronics Association), a Working Group within the Europe-based VDMA (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association). The survey also revealed that the adoption of printed electronics is spreading rapidly across various industrial sectors. Over 80% of survey participants also expect the industry to continue its positive development in the coming year. During each semi-annual survey, OE-A members (from materials’ suppliers to end-users) are asked to provide qualitative data on the state of the industry and their expected sales. “With a projected sales revenue of 9%, 2018 will be a very successful year for OE-A members,” the organization said. “This outlook even exceeds the expectations of the previous survey, carried out earlier this year, by two percentage points. For 2019, a continuation of this positive trend is expected. Companies anticipate further advancement and revenue growth of 6% along the entire value chain.”
Thin, lightweight and flexible are the well-known characteristics of organic and printed electronics. These features enable applications in numerous areas. OE-A members in particular, target the following sectors: consumer electronics, medical and pharmaceutical, automotive, lighting, energy and packaging. “Although we especially see a growing interest in the industry sectors of automotive as well as medical and pharmaceutical,” said OE-A Chair and CTO of Cambridge Display Technology, Dr. Jeremy Burroughes, “we recognize that organic and printed electronics is now playing an important role in all of the industries mentioned above.” It’s a fact that the importance and use of this innovative technology is increasing and that it will become an indispensable part of many products in the future.” This can be seen both every year at LOPEC, the leading international tradeshow and conference for printed electronics and in current product developments in Europe,” explained Burroughes. “Smartphones with OLED displays, for example, are already widely used but printed NFC labels are also appearing on more and more products.” The positive forecasts for 2019 are also reflected in other areas. The survey participants intend to invest specifically in their production processes, which also offers the mechanical engineering sector new opportunities. The respondents also expect a stable development of the employment situation as well as increased investments in research and development.