Ontario first to recognize PE industry as a priority with substantial event funding

The Canadian Printable Electronics (PE) Industry Association (CPEIA) has secured funding support from the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Growth – the first provincial government in Canada to recognize the value of this manufacturing sector to the nation’s innovation-driven economy. The Government of Ontario will support the growth and execution of seven CPEIA events in Ontario through to the end of 2017. The exact amount of funding was not disclosed at press time. These events include CPES, Canada’s premier conference and tradeshow exhibition for printable, flexible and wearable electronics. PE is an emerging market with commercial production already worth tens of billions of dollars worldwide. This rapidly growing global industry is expected to be worth $70 billion (USD) by 2024, according to market research firm IDTechEx. Governments in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere have been investing substantially in this area, given its enormous potential.

Brad Duguid.
Brad Duguid.

PE lies at the convergence of several industries in which Ontario has a strong track record. These include advanced materials, micro-electronics, information and communications technologies, advanced manufacturing, and of course, printing. It’s a key enabling technology to increase the competitiveness of Ontario manufacturing in verticals such as connected homes, intelligent buildings, health care, wearable electronics, smart packaging, smart retail, smart textiles, automotive and consumer electronics. “Our government recognizes that technological innovation is a huge creator of economic value and a driver of competitive advantage,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “We’re pleased to support this emerging manufacturing sector because we know it has the potential to change Ontario’s innovation landscape and fuel economic growth in the province.”

More than 250 Canadian organizations are active in this space. About 100 are in Ontario and 50 are already members of the CPEIA. These include industrial companies, as well as leading universities, colleges and research centres. In fact, many CPEIA industrial members from Ontario have commercial products currently in the market – 3M, CSAGroup, Information Mediary Corp., Jones Packaging, RFID Canada, Myant, Voltera and Xerox. An equally impressive number of companies are scaling up, such as Array Marketing, TUKU, OTI Lumionics and Formi 3DP.

Peter Kallai.
Peter Kallai.

“Ontario has taken a huge stride to recognize the importance of our industry and endorse the CPEIA as a credible partner organization that’s working hard to grow the province’s economy,” said Peter Kallai, President and CEO of the CPEIA. “We deeply appreciate the support of the Government of Ontario. There’s a lot to be done to build our ecosystem – this grant will enable us to continue in our efforts to create business opportunities, increase investments and generate new jobs and prosperity for Ontario.”

Established in 2014, the Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA) brings together key Canadian and international players in industry, academia and government to build a strong Canadian printable, flexible and wearable electronics sector and ecosystem. The Association is the united voice for the sector and implements strategies to facilitate growth through networking, R&D investment and supply chain building. It also drives the broad adoption of PE by end customers in a range of Canadian industries.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.