Insight from the UK's technology network - Innovations in Manufacturing for Electronic Systems
techUK surveyed the UK's technology community to determine the most important and relevant topic areas for potential R&D projects to deliver innovations in manufacturing for electronic systems....
The topic areas for research were provided by the TSB, and the feedback from this survey goes forward to influence a £4.75m funding competition in spring 2014.
The results of the survey give an insight into the collective view from the UK technology businesses and universities, and highlight some promising areas for feasibility studies and collaborative research.
20% of the responses to the survey came from University departments, and the industries replies were from multi-nationals and SMEs alike, providing a very good sample of the UK's technology sector.
See the attached report for a listing of the respondents, and the outcomes from the survey.
Outcomes (refer to the PDF report attached for details):
- There is general agreement (between the University and Company responses) that “Sensors and/or electronics for hostile environments” is the most relevant research area to both groups, coming out as the priority area
- Second to that, and again, relative agreement between both Universities and Companies, is the research area for “In-Built Intelligence”
- There is also general agreement between both Universities and Companies that the areas that would attract least support would be “Sustainable manufacturing involving re-use” and “Processing complex flexible substrates for high density electronics”, attracting least support.
- However, there is a significant difference between the Company view and the University view for the following groups:
- Integration of "printed electronics" with conventional electronics to enhance functionality, reduce size/cost or adapt form
- Companies rated this area as the second most important, where as Universities only rated this as fifth.
- High Density assembly or 3D integration
- Companies rated this area as the fourth most important, whereas Universities only rated this as eighth.
- Conversely, Universities rated “Novel instruments to test products” as third most important, whereas Companies rated this as seventh.
We also asked respondents to comment on additional topic areas that they thought should be considered. The responses were excellent, illustrating the depth and breadth of thinking across UK tech companies.
One topic area that is repeated within the commentary is the need to develop tools and processes to integrate 3D modelling, and printing, with electronics to develop rapid prototyping techniques. Do you agree?
Judge for yourself; a selection of the comments can be found in the second attachment to this article (see below under "Resources"). Please feel free to add your views to this article, or complete the survey yourself, which can be found at: http://www.etn-uk.com/HVM.aspx
Further information about the survey, and the forthcoming competition from the TSB will be published in the New Year.
Director of Electronics - techUK