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New Nano-Enabled Products

A Vanguard Initiative Pilot Project
Vanguard Logo

Project partners:         Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
                                     30+ Vanguard Regions

Contact:                        Christian Punckt, christian.punckt∂kit.edu

The Vanguard Initiative

The Vanguard Initiative is a European network of over 30 industrial regions seeking to speed up the market update of new technologies through the establishment of industry-led, cross-regional joint demonstration platforms. The network has initiated five thematic pilot projects to explore opportunities for inter-regional joint demonstrations/value chains:

  • Bio-Economy - Interregional cooperation to innovative use of non-food bio mass.
  • Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing
  • High-Performance Production through 3D-Printing
  • Making EU the global leader in components for marine renewables and offshore energy applications
  • New Nano-Enabled Products

NanoMat is active in the "New Nano-Enabled Products" Pilot as the regional coordinator for Baden-Württemberg and receives financial support for the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Stuttgart to pursue this project.

New Nano-Enabled Products - Vision

The Vanguard New Nano-Enabled Products Pilot has the aim to connect regions, to build industrial ecosystems in nanotechnologies, and to create pilot production facilities for products based on nanomaterials. Pilot-scale synthesis of materials and integration of nano-components is envisioned to enable new products for technical applications in fields as diverse as information technology, automotive industry, cosmetics, medicine, or the construction sector. Bringing prototypes to production by securing reproducibility of application remains a critical point for the industry. this is where this pilot aims to make a difference.

What's in for me?

The pilot aims at connecting and further developing open and business-driven facilities for pilot production in the field of nanotechnologies, in particular nanomaterials. By pooling the regions' resources and efforts, and by connecting complementary regional strengths, the pilot will create a strong European industrial nanotechnologies network including European R&D and laboratory infrastructure as well as different types of industries. New, trans-regional value chains will emerge on the basis of innovative nanomaterials.

Further Information:


Democase Nano-Enabled Printed Electronics

Technology push meets market pull – Establishing new printed electronics value chains from materials suppliers to pilot production & technology integration to industrial customers.
Vanguard Regions Map

Printed electronics systems are typically “nano-enabled” in one way or another: The properties of inks as well as the mechanical stability and flexibility of printed structures depend on the nano-scale nature of the materials that are being printed. Also, printed structures may only perform due to their nano-sized dimensions or internal structures (high surface-area sensor films, transparent conductive films, nano-particulate transistor channel materials). Large ongoing research and development efforts in academia and industry confirm the belief that an additive, customizable, and at the same time scalable fabrication process such as printing can offer benefits for emerging applications in various industries including healthcare, smart home, security, or the internet of things. However, today there are hardly any established value chains for electronic products based on printing as a key fabrication process, the few exceptions including printed sensors or applications of electrically conducting inks such as RFID antennas.

Making use of the Vanguard network, the project on Nano-Enabled Printed Electronics within the Vanguard Pilot “New Nano-Enabled Products” is attempting to accelerate the formation of new printed electronics value chains by connecting complementary expertise from different European regions and bringing together partners that know market needs and cover materials supply, system design & integration, printing, product development, and manufacture. The project is coordinated by the NanoMat Cluster at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in the region of Baden-Württemberg and has received funding by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Stuttgart.

The project was kicked off in September 2016 with a workshop attended by 46 participants from industry, RTOs, cluster organizations and academic research groups from 14 different European regions. While still being open to new ideas and partners, the project is currently initiating feasibility studies in application areas of high interest such as smart tags and smart textiles that – if successful – shall lead to larger-scale projects driven by market need and pushed by innovative technology.