The intelliFLEX Innovation Alliance (Ottawa, Ontario), the voice of the Printed Electronics (PE) industry in Canada, and the Smart Textile and Wearables Innovation Alliance (STWIA), have reached an agreement whereby intelliFLEX has assumed leadership of the STWIA as part of a new initiative to drive Canada’s wearables and smart textiles industry. STWIA was launched as part of the National Research Council of Canada’s (NRC) work in printable electronics, with 19 members in April 2016, and as part of its industry engagement to foster ecosystem, job and wealth growth. The STWIA aimed to connect industry members to develop supply chains. The STWIA now represents some 90 members across the country consisting of companies, universities, government and not-for-profit organizations. Past activities have included webinars and regional gatherings in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. These events have facilitated information sharing, networking and discussion. After holding consultations on how the STWIA should structure itself moving forward, members voted in July to join intelliFLEX. Members recognized that they share many of the industry challenges faced by the broader flexible and hybrid electronics industry that are being addressed by intelliFLEX. (One third of intelliFLEX’s 100 members work with smart textiles and wearables). All STWIA memberships will be transitioned to intellIiFLEX and the STWIA structure phased out. STWIA members are also being encouraged to join intelliFLEX’s new intelliWEAR program.
Launch of intelliWEAR
IntelliWEAR is a wearables and smart textiles accelerator program. Its goal is to bring together effective supply chain stakeholders to create awareness, educate, and facilitate the broad adoption of solutions enabled by printable, flexible or hybrid electronics for sports, fashion, healthcare and industrial applications. IntelliWEAR unites leading organizations across value chains to collaboratively explore, evaluate and mobilize innovative solutions. The program will be managed by the intelliWEAR Leadership Council, which is being formed in September to represent key stakeholders. The program is modelled after the very successful intelliPACK program that’s been in operations for the past 18 months.
“This is an exciting time for the smart textile and wearables sector in Canada, and joining intelliFLEX, a professional industry association, demonstrates the maturity of the sector,” said Thomas Ducellier, Executive Director of Printable Electronics. “Through intelliWEAR, members will be able to build bespoke programs, lobby government and help the sector scale in Canada.”
“We value the close working relationship we’ve always had with the NRC,” said Peter Kallai, President and CEO of intelliFLEX. “Thomas and his team have laid a great foundation on which to build a strong ecosystem to support the growth of the wearables and smart textiles sector across Canada, tied into the U.S. and into global markets. We welcome STWIA members and look forward to working with them through the intelliWEAR Leadership Council.”
The NRC will continue to be engaged as a participant and key partner with intelliFLEX and intelliWEAR. To kick things off, intelliFLEX and the NRC are hosting two STWIA Workshop IntelliWEAR Leadership Council events in September. These are the intelliWEAR EAST Leadership Council and Workshop in Toronto, Ontario September 19 at Centennial College, and the intelliWEAR WEST Leadership Council and Workshop in Burnaby, British Columbia September 29 at Simon Fraser University. If you wish to discuss joining the intelliWEAR Leadership Council, please contact Peter Kallai at email@example.com.