The 4th Chinese Printed Electronics Symposium was successfully held in Suzhou on 25-26 September 2013, in conjunction with the Suzhou International Forum on Nanotechnology (ChiNano 2013). The Symposium is the 4th in the series after the first in 2010, the second in 2011 and the 3rd in 2012. There were 26 invited speakers who came from USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Singapore, Korea, Germany, Austria, Taiwan and China. 19 posters submitted by young researchers and post-graduate students were displayed at the symposium. Three best posters were selected by experts and awarded. Over 100 people from universities, research institutes and industry attended the symposium, together with 12 exhibitors who exhibited their equipments and products at the symposium.
The topics of symposium included printed photovoltaic, thin-film transistors, sensors, printed conductive circuits and equipments. Each was covered by a session with a number of speakers discussing the topic. The overseas speakers brought to the symposium their latest research achievements as well as the development in their own country. A few of them are actually responsible for their national printed electronics research programs. From the presentations by the overseas speaker, it is quite clear that printed electronics is booming in the rest of world. China, however, is relatively quiet. The Chinese Printed Electronics Symposium has been held for 4 years. The research papers submitted to the symposium, however, have not seen rapid increase as expected, which indicates that there are not many researchers or research groups actively involved in this field in China. In contrast, the International Conference on Flexible and Printed Electronics (ICFPE) held last month in Korea saw 261 papers from Korean researchers presented at the conference, which was more than 50% of total submitted papers. The root cause, as Prof. Zheng Cui pointed out, is the government policy which plays a vital role in guiding the national emphasis in R&D directions. The situation is hopefully changing, as there is recently published a report about Chinese industry policy on printed electronics by the Chinese Academy of Engineering. A number of constructive suggestions are proposed at the report.
At the end of symposium, Prof. Zheng Cui, the symposium chair, announced that China will be the host of International Conference on Flexible and Printed Electronics (ICFPE) next year. The conference will be held in Beijing on 21-13 October 2014. This symposium will be merged with the ICFPE next year. He urged everyone to spread the news and to get involved in printed electronics research. China needs all the supports home and abroad to organize a successful ICFPE conference next year.