Canada took centre stage at IDTechEx’s Printed Electronics USA show two weeks ago, showcasing the strength of its growing ecosystem for printable, wearable and flexible electronics (PE).

The anchor was an impressive 1,600-square-foot Team Canada Pavilion, the largest on the exhibition floor.

A huge circular banner with maple leaf branding made the Pavilion visible from every part of the exhibition floor. Pre-show promotion and placement in the event program made it a “can’t be missed” exhibit. The Pavilion featured 10 Canadian organizations, representing a cross-section of the entire eco-system, with materials, device manufacturers and application developers in printables, flexibles and wearables.

“We had an integrated look and feel that really demonstrated Canada has its act together,” said Thomas Ducellier, Executive Director of the National Research Council of Canada’s Flagship PE Program. “The message of a one-stop shop to bring new products and applications to market resonated well with visitors.”

“Overall, this was a fantastic show with about 100 more exhibitors than last year,” added Peter Kallai, President and CEO of the CPEIA. “We found a lot more serious interest among attendees about the applications for PE in various market verticals.”

Visitors to the Pavilion could even unwind to the sweet sound of PE. Tangio Printed Electronics featured renowned composer and producer Phi Bui playing a PE-enabled musical instrument – a force-sensing membrane-based keyboard. 

“Exhibiting at the show was incredibly valuable for us,” said Kirk Hutton, head of sales and marketing at Tangio. “The show, and the Team Canada Pavilion, gave us access to a number of qualified decision makers with global brands. I had the opportunity to speak with many people in senior positions who were genuinely interested in the services my company provides and the products we deliver.”

Tony Chahine, CEO of Myant and AIA Labs, agreed.

“Myant and our AIA Labs received overwhelming attention and praise from conference participants looking for a space to create their product, or for a research and technology development partner,” he said. “Being surrounded by other innovative companies from Canada gave us extra traction at the show and added to our credibility within the PE industry.”

It all came down to strength in numbers, added Michelle Chrétien, Program Manager, Strategic Research, at XRCC.

“We think there is a real benefit to individual organizations when the Canadian PE community comes together to exhibit at events such as this,” she said. “Together, we are more than sum of our (printed) parts!”

The Canadian Pavilion featured:

  • CSA Group, an internationally accredited standards development and testing and certification organization, that also provides consumer product evaluation and education and training services.
  • GGI International, which specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of custom Human Machine Interface (HMI) technologies that incorporate a variety of best-in-class PE components.
  • ICI, which offers independent and impartial technical services adapted to printability and formulation needs for any business segment.
  • Jones Packaging, an integrated packaging solutions provider for highly regulated industries that’s at the forefront of the evolution of electronic smart packaging.
  • Myant & Co.’s Architects of Intelligent Applications (AIA), a specialized platform for designing, developing and manufacturing wearable technology, and integrating and embedding technology seamlessly into textiles.
  • National Research Council of Canada, the Government of Canada’s premier organization for R&D. NRC’s PE initiative coordinates key industrial areas – materials, ink, printing and packaging – as a springboard for a profitable, large-scale PE sector.
  • Raymor Industries/NanoIntegris Technologies, which uses a novel patented plasma technology to synthesize single-walled carbon nanotubes at an industrial scale, for a variety of applications.
  • Tangio Printed Electronics, creator of force touch sensors that are inside the most advanced expressive touch-sensing products in the world.
  • Tekna, a leader in induction plasma technology. Its business is organized along two main activities: Systems and Powders.
  • Xerox Research Centre of Canada, the global materials research and development centre for Xerox Corp. and a pioneer in the design, scale-up, and supply of electronic and specialty materials.

The CPEIA membership was also well represented elsewhere on the exhibition floor and on the conference agenda, with international names like Arjowiggins Creative Papers, CERADROP MGI Group, FUJIFILM Dimatix, Group NanoXplore, Novacentrix (the conference’s lead sponsor), XENON Corp., and of course, by IDTechEx itself.