Jennifer Ernst, Chief Strategy Officer

Jennifer Ernst, Chief Strategy Officer

Recent Posts

FlexTech Alliance Awarded $75 Million to Advance Flexible Hybrid Electronics

Posted by Jennifer Ernst, Chief Strategy Officer on Sep 2, 2015 10:01:48 AM

Congratulations to FlexTech Alliance for receiving a $75 million Department of Defense award to establish and manage a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE MII). The new institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program (NNMI), an initiative of the Obama Administration to support advanced manufacturing in the U.S.FHEMII

As Chairman of the Board of FlexTech and a longtime member of the organization, I have seen first-hand how the Alliance has built a successful track record of facilitating collaboration and advancing technologies from R&D to commercialization.

The new Institute, guided by FlexTech, will impact markets beyond defense. Developing an infrastructure for flexible electronics will spur growth in other industries that benefit from electronics that are fabricated on a thin and flexible form factor.

Flexible electronics are already re-shaping multiple markets. For example, we’ve been experiencing increased demand for flexible electronic labels that dynamically sense temperature excursions and help preserve perishable medicine or foods. We also see tremendous interest in wireless NFC tags that allow consumers to communicate with products and help connect the physical and digital worlds.  

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Topics: NFC, printed electronics

A Basic Memory Device Adds Intelligence to Simple Consumable Items

Posted by Jennifer Ernst, Chief Strategy Officer on Dec 2, 2014 1:46:00 PM

Thinfilm_20-bit_memory_labelThe power of printed electronics lies in its ability to add intelligence to large volumes of everyday objects at a relatively low cost. A simple memory label attached to a consumable refill or replaceable part can help tell us whether water is clean, disinfectant is effective, or automobile parts are compatible.  

A printed memory is not only cost-effective but it is also easy to use. Thinfilm’s non-volatile rewritable memory comes in a thin adhesive label and requires only a simple contact-based reader.  Unlike EEPROMs that have rigid substrates, these Memory Labels are easy to integrate into almost any product. Plus, our readers are smaller than alternative RF-based solutions.

Memory labels have applications across industries. For instance, in a hospital setting where physicians and nurses are constantly using anti-bacterial soap dispensers to sterilize their hands, a Thinfilm Memory Label attached to soap refills can count how many times soap is dispensed before it’s time to replace the refill.

Using this information, the base unit – in this case the dispenser – could send a message that a new refill is needed. Or the dispenser can be programmed to stop working altogether once a pre-set limit is reached until a fresh refill is inserted. This would prevent any improper replenishing with lower quality soap or other unknown and potentially unsafe liquid.

In other industries, memory label solutions can enable office printers to communicate when an ink cartridge needs replacement, empower auto mechanics to determine when a new air filter is required, and allow refrigerators to tell us how many days  remain until a water filter should be replaced, based on data stored on the consumable.

For more information about Thinfilm Memory Labels, click here to download our brochure or view our presentation.

What do YOU think? Can a thinner, smaller and affordable memory make consumable items interactive? We’d love to hear from you.

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Printed electronics industry pioneer wins prestigious 2014 Marcus Wallenberg prize

Posted by Jennifer Ernst, Chief Strategy Officer on Oct 6, 2014 11:28:00 AM

Recently, I was privileged to attend the Marcus Wallenberg Prize ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, where Magnus Berggren accepted this prestigious award. The 2014 Marcus Wallenberg Prize was presented by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden to Dr. Berggren for his pioneering research in printed electronics.  

Dr. Berggren has served on Thinfilm’s Technical Advisory Council and was one of the driving forces in the establishment of Thin Film Electronics.  His work has paved the way for much of the functionality we are seeing today in printed sensors and displays.

In the years that I have been with Thinfilm, I have been fortunate to be part of the team that has helped mold the industry and advance printed electronics technology from R&D into marketable products. Today, Thinfilm produces the only commercially available printed rewritable memory labels which provide a cost-effective way to embed intelligence into everyday items.  Thinfilm has also introduced a smart label platform which enables monitoring at a cost that is practical to implement. The proper handling of temperature-sensitive food and medication made possible with Thinfilm Smart Labels can have a direct impact on personal safety and health, while reducing overall waste levels.

Dr. Berggren is actively developing organic bio-electronics primarily for use in medicine and diagnostic tools in his position as professor of Organic Electronics at Linköping University, and Director of the Strategic Research Centre for Organic Bioelectronics. He continues to shape the direction of printed electronics at an exciting time in our industry.

I am proud to be involved with the commercialization efforts that are being built on the shoulders of such giants. Thin Film Electronics would like to congratulate Magnus Berggren for receiving this prestigious award and thank him for his contributions. 

 

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Topics: awards, memory, printed electronics

About Thinfilm Thoughts

Thinfilm Thoughts is the blog for Thinfilm Electronics ASA (“Thinfilm”). The postings published here present our opinions and thought leadership views regarding printed electronics technology and products, the printed electronics industry, and the role that printed electronics will play in powering the Internet of Everything.