NSERC – Green Electronics Network (GreEN)

Our world is rapidly adopting an information system known as the Internet of Things (IoT), in which smart devices and sensors embedded ubiquitously collect and exchange data. The IoT is estimated to consist of ~50B smart objects by 2020. Many of these devices will be simple, low-cost sensors deployed everywhere, monitoring food supplies, environmental conditions of air and water, the status of packaged goods, and human health. The resulting data will be used to improve human health and safety, as well as provide commercial benefits by preventing product loss.

The high throughput and low-cost manufacturing capabilities of Printed Electronics (PE) are ideally suited to the mass production of devices needed for the IoT; however, the potential scale of this mass production also presents an environmental challenge that must be addressed for PE manufacturing to be a viable approach.

The NSERC-Green Electronics Network (GreEN) is a unique transdisciplinary academic and industrial team that connects 19 researchers from 13 universities across Canada, 1 College Centre for the Transfer of Technology as well as 21 industrial partners from across Canada and 14 collaborating organizations (National and International). GreEN expertise covers the preparation and characterization of environmentally benign carbon-based conductors, dielectrics, and semiconductors using sustainable processes, their formulation into inks using eco-friendly solvents, and the printing and fabrication of novel electronic devices and circuits on various biodegradable or recyclable substrates, leading to innovative and environmentally benign sensing.

Focusing on a 5-year horizon (starting on July 1, 2018), NSERC-GreEN will develop advanced materials, electronic devices and manufacturing technologies for eco-friendly printed electronic sensors intended for smart packaging applications. This advancement will make Canada a world-leading innovator in the development of innovative devices and manufacturing processes for printed electronics applications.