Bekaert, Holst Centre Collaborate on Micropower Generation, System-in-Foil

Bekaert, a world leader in advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings, signed a collaboration agreement with the Dutch R&D institute, the Holst Centre. Bekaert will join both the Holst Centre’s program lines on wireless autonomous transducer systems and system-in-foil products and production.

By joining both research programs, Bekaert wants to further reinforce its technological competence and to expand its activities in large area coating of functional layers on flexible substrates. The new technologies and innovations will be proven by groundbreaking demonstrators.

The system-in-foil program targets to develop new production processes for electronic systems on thin foils including roll-to-roll patterning, printing, etc. These technologies will create a revolution in the electronics industry enabling ultra-light and ultra-thin, flexible, easy-to-wear electronic products such as lighting and signage devices, reusable and disposable sensor devices, foldable solar panels and displays.

Production processes as now being used in the paper printing industry will enable to make these devices in large sizes and quantities at low costs.

Bekaerts interest in the Wireless Autonomous Transducer program is more specifically focused on power generating and storing systems at the microWatt scale. These systems are developed to improve the autonomy or reduce the size of wireless autonomous transducer systems.

The envisaged solution extracts its energy from the environment and converts it into electrical energy for storage in a micro-battery.

“We expect a whole range of innovative product opportunities for healthcare, sports & lifestyle, automotive, transport and logistics to emerge once we start combining the developments from both programs. Integrating intelligent sensor systems with flexible functional foil is a very powerful concept;” says Jo De Boeck, responsible for the wireless autonomous transducer solutions program line in the Holst Centre and CEO of IMEC-Nederland.

“The Holst Centre research initiative perfectly fits with our open innovation strategy;” says Dominique Neerinck, CTO of Bekaert. “We are very confident that this collaboration involving fellow researchers from IMEC-Nederland and TNO will significantly enhance our research and development capability, and will provide an important leverage effect on Bekaert’s developments in the domain of advanced coatings, one of our two core competences.”

About the Holst Centre
The Holst Centre was set up in 2005 with support from Economic Affairs of the Netherlands and the Flemish Government and is located on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. The center is the creation of IMEC (Flanders, Belgium) and TNO (The Netherlands) and will grow into an international recognized open R&D institute that develops generic technologies and technology platforms for autonomous wireless transducer solutions and systems-on-foil.

The activities on wireless autonomous transducer solutions in the Holst Centre are run by IMEC-NL, the sister company of the Belgian research centre IMEC. Interaction and cooperation with both academia and the industry, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, enables the Holst Centre to tune its scientific strategy to the long-term corporate strategies of its partners. A beneficial transfer of technology to the industry is guaranteed and market requirements can be anticipated.

About Bekaert
Bekaert seeks sustainable profitable growth based on its two core competences: advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings.

Bekaert aims to consolidate its position as both market and technological leader around the world. With its broad range of high technological products, systems and services, Bekaert offers high added value for its customers. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is an European based company, headquartered in Belgium, employing 17 000 people. Bekaert, present in 120 countries, generates sales of € 3 billion.