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Organic and Large Area Electronics

Organic and Large Area Electronics

Photonics (Unit A.1)

Europe has a leading industry in this field and an excellent research community. The goal is therefore to lead and shape technology development in organic and large area electronics and enable the breakthrough and wide use of this technology in new highly innovative products and applications by creating the eco-system between RTO, SMEs and larger industry. This will extend the strong industrial position Europe has in materials and equipment towards applications and establish the value chains for value creation in Europe. Also, we aim to promote it widely as highly promising science and technology field for the 21st century which will lead to yet unprecedented products and applications, opening new business opportunities and markets.


Defining and implementing the relevant FP7 and Horizon 2020 (H2020) calls for proposals in organic electronics (OLAE) and managing the unit's portfolio of on-going and newly selected research and innovation (R&I) projects.


Organic and Large Area Electronics (OLAE) is a high growth and promising field in digital technologies with applications ranging from printed electronics for mass market labels in the food sector to sensors that can be embedded in all types of artefacts such as wearables and textiles in any shape and form.It has the potential to be low cost thanks to innovative mass manufacturing processes and the use of cheap materials. Furthermore it is energy efficient and greener than traditional electronics.The unique selling proposition of this technology is thus that it enables integrating electronics in objects to make them smart, in any shape and form (thin and flexible) at low-cost and energy-efficient.From a € 5 billion market today, the area is expected to grow more than 10 fold in the next decade with mass markets expected in for example packaging, logistics, health, environmental monitoring, games, sports, textile  The following barriers need to be addressed in order to help the area further develop and grow, and move it from an emerging and promising technology to an established one with commercial products in the timeframe of 2 to 3 years:

  • The lack of complex organic electronics circuitry and functionalities, and the difficult route to manufacturability of OLAE systems and products;
  • There are too many technical options open, standards are missing, and the present markets are too small;
  • There is fragmented cooperation along the value chain and a need for intense cooperation with large end-users.
The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation H2020 (Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013) identifies Organic and Large Area Electronics as a topic in the area "ICT" of the pillar "Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies" of Horizon 2020.


Full-Time Equivalent: 
3.00 full-time equivalent (FTE)
Collaboration with other DGs or agencies:
In 2014-2015 under the Horizon 2020 programme we envisage spending of the order of 40M€; and about 150M€ for H2020 in total.

Interactions with OLAE stakeholders and the Organic Electronics Association (OE-A) and participation in conferences and other events; etc.


High quality R&I projects

High quality projects in OLAE launched from the calls for proposals addressing:

  • The development of new OLAE devices, systems, processes and technologies
  • New integrating activities across the value chain that help bridge the "valley of death"



Joint publications

Target Number and share of joint public-private publications out of all publications

could this be collected via Sygma?

New R&I capabilities

Target At least 1 open access pilot manufacturing lines established (2016)

by H2020 R&I projects

Contribution to standards

Target At least 20% of projects contributing to standards
Baseline 20% of projects contributing to standards in ICT in FP6 and FP7

would this be collected via Sygma?

Project Success Stories

Target At least one major technology breakthroughs per year from running projects (in terms of functionality or performance.)

Strong industrial engagement in EU funded OLAE Research and Innovation

Increasing the participation of OLAE industrial stakeholders in our programmes and contribution to an enhanced cooperation in a broadened stakeholder community.



Coverage of the Horizon 2020 work programme

Target At least 50% of industrial participation in H2020 calls, with 20% SMEs
Baseline Industrial participation in the last FP7 calls : 33% industry, with 15% SMEs

Improving the capabilities and innovation potential of the OLAE companies

Improving the technological and manufacturing capabilities and the innovation potential of the OLAE companies that are a direct result of our projects, with special emphasis on the innovation and competitive potential of SMEs (both technology providers and end-users).



Patent applications (lead indicator)

Target At least 2 patent applications per 10M€ funding (2015)
Baseline The average number of patents per 10 M€ spent on R&D worldwide

DG CONNECT research dashboard

Chart URL See the chart

New OLAE-enabled products and processes, notably by SMEs

Target At least 30 new products/processes generated by SMEs through the open access infrastructures and services that will be created under H2020 pilot production lines and SME-supporting facilities. (2020)

via the R&I projects

Firms introducing innovations new to the company or the market

Target Share of participating firms introducing innovations new to the company or the market (covering the period of the project plus three years)

can this be collected via the innovation questionnaire?

Influencing the revenue growth of the OLAE industry

Influencing the revenue growth of the OLAE industry and the emergence of new business ecosystems and strong alliances along and across the value chain. These increase the innovation capacity of the European OLAE industries and influence the European market share of the global OLAE production.



European revenue growth

Target A European annual growth of at least 12%

source to be defined, as well as frequency of measurement

Link to DG CONNECT's Top Level Targets

  • Europe 2020 - 3% of the EU's GDP should be invested in R&D, complemented by a future EU 2020 Headline Innovation Indicator
  • H2020 - By 2020, one third of all Europe's ICT business investment in ICT R&D in the EU should come from companies created within the last two decades
  • Create growth and new jobs, improve skills and education