After nearly one year preparation, the 7th Symposium on Flexible and Printed Electronics (FPE China) was successfully held in Suzhou on October 25th -27th at the Suzhou International Expo Center. There have been 6 consecutive symposiums since 2010, except in 2014 when China hosted the 5th International Conference on Flexible and Printed Electronics (ICFPE) in Beijing, and the Chinese symposium was merged with ICFPE. Last year, the Symposium was held in Changzhou, hosted by the Changzhou Institute of Printed Electronics Industry. This year, the Symposium returned to Suzhou and was organized by the Printable Electronics Research Center (PERC), Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-Bioncs (SINANO), Chinese Academy of Sciences. The Symposium was co-located with the 8th Chinano, the nanotechnology conference &Exhibition held every year in the Suzhou Industrial Park.
The 7th Symposium had 39 oral presentations and 50 poster presentations. Among them there were 7 keynote talks and 13 invited talks. More than 200 people attended the Symposium and 11 companies put up exhibition booths at the venue. For the first time, the Symposium had two parallel sessions on the second day, reflecting that more interesting talks were accommodated within limited time. The poster session in the afternoon of 26th drew a big crowd as well. 14 invited experts as judges made a selection of 3 best posters among the 50 posters and the authors of best posters were presented with the honorary certificates. The prominent speakers at the Symposium included Professor Donal Bradley who is the Fellow of Royal Society of UK and the Dean of Science and Engineering School at Oxford University and he gave a presentation about his work in organic electronics and interfaces. Professor LIU Yunqi, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, presented his recent work using organic transistors as artificial retinas. Dr. CHENG Janglin, Head of Flexible Display Center at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan shared his over 10 years research experience into the flexible display technology at ITRI. Professor PEI Qibing, an internationally renowned scholar in flexible and stretchable electronics presented his recent work. Professor Yang Jun from West Ontario University, Canada, presented his research in 3D printing of composite materials and application in printed electronics. Dr. HE Xiaoxi from IDTechEx, the well known market research firm with focus on printed electronics, talked about the recent market status and future trends in organic/flexible/printed electronics technology and industry. Considering that the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology launched national priority research program on printable display in 2016, the Symposium specially organized a printable display session and invited Dr.YANG Dongfang from BOE and Dr. SONG Jingyao from TCL, the two leading companies in Chinese display industry. Both Dr. YANG and Dr. SONG introduced their research progress in inkjet-printed organic light emitting display (OLED) development. During the printable display session, a number of speakers who participated various projects within the national research program also presented their work related to the program. In order to give the participants a global picture of organic/flexible/printed electronics development, the Symposium specially invited Dr. Klaus Hecker, the general manager of International Organic Electronics Association (OE-A), gave an update on the OE-A’s organic and printed electronics roadmap. The Symposium also invited Dr. Melissa Grupon-shemansky, CEO of SEMI-FlexTech, to introduce the new organization of SEMI and particularly the approach of Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) which is considered to be a realistic route towards industrialization and commercialization of flexible printed electronics. The original FlexTech, which was established in 1995 in USA as an industrial association, has been focusing on flexible technology for many years. It merged with SEMI the international semiconductor industrial association in 2015 and has since rapidly expanded outside USA, particularly in Asia. There are already annual events such as FLEX Japan, FLEX Korea and FLEX Southeast Asia. SEMI-Flex intended to expand into China as well. The Symposium could well be a platform to facilitate the expansion. In fact, the establishment of SEMI China Flexible Electronics Working Committee took place in Suzhou on October 27th just after the Symposium. At the end of the symposium, Professor CUI Zheng, the Chair of symposium, made a concluding remark. He thanked all the speakers and attendees of the symposium for their supports. He quoted that many attendees were saying the event after 7 years running has become a known brand and well noticed by the Chinese flexible and printed electronics community. He wished the tradition will carry on in future symposiums.