Making business happen at CPES2017

By Peter Kallai

Canada continues to make its mark on the global printable, flexible and wearable electronics (PE) industry through our annual conference, CPES2017.

Last month at Centennial College, 150 attendees from almost 90 organizations gathered in Toronto to discuss how they can work together to commercialize new products and applications for PE. (That’s up about 15 per cent from last year.) These were technology developers, industrial companies, end-users and academic researchers from across North America. A few special guests even made the trip from Europe.

We also welcomed guests from the Government of Ontario, which recently recognized our sector as a priority investment target to help drive the growth of the province’s innovation economy.

Our roster of speakers and exhibitors demonstrated that PE truly is an industry that is commercial and scaling up manufacturing. It is open for business, with real solutions, real products and real revenue. CPES may not be a large event, but as several attendees remarked, nowhere else can you find such an impressive concentration of senior decision makers and innovative organizations from across the global supply chain in such an intimate and inviting setting.

Helping startups, SMEs get to market and grow revenue

New this year, Day 3 of CPES focused on assisting startups and SMEs with a financing panel, and startup pitching and mentoring, in addition to the first Startup of the Year award.

Why? It takes more than great technology to bring compelling products to market.

Financing is a critical issue for our industrial members. During our strategic consultations last fall, CPEIA members identified a need for more financing and more flexible forms of financing, to assist with commercialization and manufacturing scale up.

Startups and SMEs also identified the need for mentoring that is specific to our industry – something that cannot be obtained from the typical regional incubator or accelerator.

We want to do all we can to help young companies in PE tap into the resources and the opportunities they need to achieve global success.

So, for Day 3, we pulled together a panel of representatives from six financing organizations and programs that are available to all our industrial members – from startups to established multinational businesses looking to expand into new areas.

These included the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Service OptiPrint, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), MaRS Discovery District, the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). All six, incidentally, have already supported companies in our sector in one form or another.

Our mentored startups were:
  • Acquire Industries Ltd. of Toronto
  • Formi 3DP Inc. of London
  • NanoCnet Ltd. of Kitchener-Waterloo
  • NGTronix Industries Corp. of Guelph
  • Wibicom Inc. of Montreal
As part of this program, the CPEIA will continue to provide support to all our finalists over the next 12 months, with introductions to customers and partners, assistance with accessing financing and securing mentorship from seasoned industry leaders.

Handing out the hardware

Domestic technology companies are also showcased to help them attract customers, investors and partners through the CPES Innovation Awards and, new this year, the Startup of the Year award.

Voltera Inc. of Kitchener-Waterloo won the Commercialization award, Information Mediary Corp. of Ottawa took the New Product award, and NanoCnet Ltd. of Kitchener-Waterloo claimed the first Startup of the Year award.

Making business happen, at home and abroad

We also continued relationship building to drive opportunities for investment, partnership and revenue growth internationally for CPEIA Members with peer industry associations:
  • MOU announced with SEMI | FlexTech of the U.S. – CEO Michael Ciesinski attended CPES2017 and participated on a CEO Panel with CPEIA and AFELIM.
  • Michel Popovich, President of France’s AFELIM, also attended CPES2017, provided a keynote presentation and table top exhibit, and participated on the CEO panel mentioned above.
As a result, several CPEIA companies such as Xerox and Voltera will be provided speaking spots at these organizations’ events that will lead to new business for them in the U.S. and Europe.

Many other attendees also made vital connections and initiated new business deals for their products and services at CPES2017.

$100 Million Industry Challenge

To spotlight PE as an industry sector in Canada ripe for investment and to encourage more investment, we also announced a $100 Million Industry Challenge. The goal? To tally at least $100 million in disclosed investment into our sector by CPES2019. (For details, see below.)

From our AGM: New faces on our Board of Directors

During the CPEIA AGM at CPES2017, we welcomed two new directors and expanded the Board by one seat. The new directors are:
Their profile helps CPEIA gain additional credibility and visibility globally and nationally.

Minutes of the 2017 AGM are available to Members upon request. Please contact Peter Kallai at

I want to hear from you

If you are a technology industry executive interested in mentoring one of our startups, if you wish an introduction with a CPEIA partner or Member to help drive your business, or if you have any other questions about CPES or our $100 Million Challenge, please contact me at

Part-time career opportunities with CPEIA

We are hiring! Are you a self-motivated and dependable individual willing to work part-time from home or the local coffee shop as part of a small team that accomplishes big things? If so, consider these roles:

Assistant to the CEO (Ottawa)

Working directly with President and CEO Peter Kallai, this individual will carry out a wide range of duties, including:
  • Clerical tasks, including invoicing and onboarding new Members
  • Research
  • Managing our CRM database (Agile)
  • Member communications
  • Updating content on the CPEIA website
  • Updating LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
  • Other supportive duties as required
The position requires a high level of integrity, as you will likely be exposed to confidential and sensitive information.

Experience required with office productivity software, CRM systems (Agile) and the WordPress platform. Salary commensurate with experience. Hours per week to be discussed.

If interested, please contact Peter Kallai at with resume and three references.

Events Coordinator (Ottawa or Toronto)

The CPEIA has an active calendar of 5-6 events throughout the year, ranging from our annual conference, CPES (150 attendees over three days), to half-day or one-day workshops involving 20-30 participants that are often part of other industry conferences. Most of these take place in the Toronto area. The right person for this role is willing to travel with expenses for travel, accommodation and meals covered by the CPEIA.

The Events Coordinator will work with the entire CPEIA team to assist with:
  • Program/agenda development
  • Securing venues and coordinating with venue staff in advance and onsite at the event for all logistical details (including setup, A/V, food, registration, branding and signage)
  • Coordinating with speakers/participants
  • Coordinating with any sponsors and exhibitors
  • Outbound communications and social media promotion related to each event
Experience required. Salary commensurate with experience. Hours per week to be discussed.

If interested, please contact Peter Kallai at with resume and three references.


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CPEIA and AFELIM establish strategic partnership for North America and Europe

In case you missed it, earlier this week we announced a Memorandum of Understanding with France’s AFELIM. The CPEIA and AFELIM will work together to help our respective Members gain market traction and find new opportunities beyond their borders.

AFELIM is France’s printed and organic electronics industry association. It plays very much the same role on behalf of that country’s printable, flexible and wearable electronics industry that the CPEIA plays in Canada.

Read the full announcement

Will you rise to our $100 Million Industry Challenge?

At CPES2017 last month, we announced the $100 Million Industry Challenge. The goal? To tally at least $100 million in disclosed investment into the sector by CPES2019. We believe that if we spotlight PE as an industry sector in Canada that is already attracting investment, it will encourage more – where money goes, more follows.

All we ask is that you disclose any funding that you invest in research and product development, or to expand your PE-related manufacturing operations and commercialization activities. We will not disclose your information if you do not wish us to.
This can be capital that you:
  1. Invest internally from your own cash flow for new development activities, expansion, or
  2. External equity investment such as seed, angel, private equity or venture capital investments you receive
  3. Contributions from government programs such as NRC IRAP or other federal programs that require non-repayment
  4. Other financing sources such credit lines, leases for capital equipment, issuance of debentures etc.
We will also use disclosed information to publish Top Investors, Top Employers, Top Fastest Growing Companies and Top R&D Employers lists.

Complete a submission form today. Any questions can be directed to Peter Kallai at
$100 Million Challenge Submission

How AI Is Changing the Smart Home: 2017 CABA Forum Keynote

In Early May, CPEIA took part in CABA’s Intelligent Buildings & Digital Home Forum in Santa Clara, CA. We delivered a half-day workshop with presenters from the Xerox Research Centre of Canada and CSAGroup to highlight the key benefits of our technologies and key applications for this industry.

A fantastic keynote was delivered at the Forum by Matthew Mahar, VP of Consumer Experience, Vivint Smart Home. Matthew discussed the seven barriers to mass-market smart home adoption and how artificial intelligence helps give consumers the smart home they have longed to experience.

View a video of the keynote now.

Read CABA’s ‘Improving Organizational Productivity with Building Automation Systems’ study

CABA has made available for free to CPEIA Members this extensive study carried out with several major industrial partners and the National Research Council of Canada.

“Improving Organizational Productivity with Building Automation Systems” provides a framework by which vendors of “better buildings” technologies and their clients can value the effects of these technologies on organizational productivity metrics. In most cases, the better buildings approaches addressed are technologies facilitated by advanced building automation systems (BAS), or are whole-building strategies (e.g., green building certification) that typically include superior BAS features.

Download the full study now.

Be part of the conversation for Canada’s Superclusters Initiative

The 2017 Canadian federal budget proposed to invest up to $950 million through an Innovation Superclusters Initiative to support business-led innovation superclusters with the greatest potential to secure Canada’s future as an innovation leader and maximize economic growth. 

Further details of the application process can be found here.

Business leaders from across highly innovative industries in Canada and from firms of all sizes are encouraged to think big, gather partners, and come forward with bold proposals that will foster new commercial and global opportunities for growth and competitiveness.

This is a prime opportunity for CPEIA Members to step up and be heard.

Visit to learn more and to register for upcoming information sessions. 

BDC Study: Industry 4.0 – The New Industrial Revolution

Canadian manufacturers that are investing in digital technologies are seeing dramatic improvements in productivity, growth and customer satisfaction, according to this new BDC study. Please read and share this insightful report, available at "Industry 4.0: The New Industrial Revolution.”

The study, based on a survey of 960 Canadian entrepreneurs, shows that:
  • Close to 40 per cent of Canadian small and mid-sized manufacturers have implemented digital technology projects
  • Digital adopters improved productivity by 60 per cent and saved almost 50 per cent in operating costs
  • 42 per cent of digital adopters improved overall product quality
Find out:
  • Three ways to introduce Industry 4.0 into your manufacturing business
  • How three companies are using new digital technology to transform their business
  • Four tips for getting your business started with digital technologies

CPEIA signs new Members at CPES2017

Not only did attendees at CPES2017 make business happen, we also attracted new Members. They include:
  • Exhibitor Insulectro, the largest supplier of materials used to manufacture printed circuit boards (PCBs). For example, it represents Du Pont’s Electronic Material products in Canada.
  • Intrinsiq Materials of the U.K., a recognized leader in nanomaterials development. Its customized, air-handleable electronic inks and pastes are a greener, lower-cost alternative to conventional electronic printing materials. Intrinsiq’s U.S. operation in Rochester, NY houses formulation, printing and sintering capabilities.

intelliPACK is growing

In February, the CPEIA and PAC, Packaging Consortium launched the intelliPACK Leadership Council – North America’s only dedicated network to accelerate the development and broad adoption of smart packaging innovations.

The intelliPACK Leadership Council has secured several new Members since its launch:
  • FX Creative, a full-service and award-winning design, packaging and display company
  • SGSCO, a global collective, collaborating to help brands “Own The Moment” when a consumer’s desire can be converted into action
  • Sobeys Inc., the second-largest food retailer in Canada, with over 260 supermarkets operating in Canada and around 1,500 more under a variety of other banners. It is a subsidiary of the Empire Company
  • Thin Film Electronics ASA, Norway’s global leader in the development and commercialization of printed electronics and smart systems


Visit our Video Library

The CPEIA has launched a video library where we collect and showcase the great work of our Members, as well as interviews and recaps from CPEIA events.

Visit the library for great content such as NovaCentrix demonstrating how it can cure copper ink in milliseconds with its PulseForge line of processing tools. 

Is your video here? Any CPEIA Member is welcome to submit their video content for inclusion using the form on the Video Library webpage. Our goal is to explore technology, innovation and compelling products that are hitting the market.

Build your dream team with OPE Careers

Our industry is growing and CPEIA Members are hiring. Build your dream team for printable, flexible, and wearable electronics. OPE Careers is a unique web portal to promote your career opportunities across North America and abroad.

You may have jobs posted on other sites, but only here can you get premier positioning and industry-specific exposure. For professionals and employers alike, the journey to connect talent with opportunity begins right here.

Have you checked out

Microfabrication Researcher – Printable Photonics
National Optics Institute / Institut national d'optique (INO) - Quebec City

Technology Leader
TandemLaunch - Montreal
Industrial Designer
twenty2b - Toronto

Knitting Technician / Programmer - Textile Technician
Myant - Toronto


International Conference on Flexible and Printed Electronics 2017, September 4-7, Korea

The International Conference on Flexible and Printed Electronics (ICFPE 2017) will highlight challenges, emerging processes and applications in printing process, materials and devices. It will cover a broad range of topics in this field and focus on novel processes, novel materials and devices. 

ICFPE 2017 will underpin the need for collaboration and cooperation between individuals from a wide range of professional backgrounds. This rich program will also provide attendees with opportunities to meet and interact with leading scientists, researchers and colleagues as well as sponsors.

ICFPE 2017 is jointly organized by the Korea Printed Electronics Association (KoPEA), with support from the Organic Electronics Association (OE-A) and research groups in Japan, Taiwan and China.

The call for papers is still open. Visit the ICFPE 2017 website to learn more.

Call for papers open for IDTechEx Show!/Printed Electronics USA, Deadline August 14

Speaker abstracts are now being accepted for the IDTechEx Show!/Printed Electronics USA 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara CA, taking place November 15-16 Nov. 2017. This unique event will cover nine emerging technologies and allow participants to learn, network, partner and do business at the only event to bring all these industries to one location.

With over 3,500 attendees, 225 exhibitors and 250 presentations from 47 countries, this is the place to see tomorrow's technologies today. Each year, a strong Canadian delegation attends this show, anchored by the CPEIA and the National Research Council of Canada.

The organizers are especially interested to receive abstracts for the Wearable Technology session, covering the following topics:
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
  • Sports Technology
  • E-Textiles
  • Wearables in Healthcare
For further information visit the website or email before Monday Aug. 14, 2017.

Please contact Peter Kallai today at if you are interested in exhibiting in the Canadian Zone at IDTechEx Show!/Printed Electronics USA.

Get Smart Summit, October 17, Mississauga

Smart packaging is an active or intelligent interactive packaging system that delivers benefits and added functionality to the value chain. The global smart packaging market is exploding and is poised to reach approximately $26.7 billion by 2024, according to a report by Research and Markets.

The GET SMART SUMMIT is an inaugural intelliPACK event to mobilize industry to accelerate the development and broad adoption of smart packaging innovations. It takes place Oct. 17 at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

Who should attend?
Retailers, brand owners, brand and design agencies, packaging engineers, technology developers, equipment and machinery suppliers, packaging converters,
raw material suppliers, consultants and analysts, logistics, end of life/recycling.
Visit the Summit website to learn more and to register.

Industry News

Canada launches visa program for hiring specialized foreign talent

Graniz Mondal Inc., CPEIA Member Group NanoXplore Inc. announce intent to merge

Making Flexible Electronics with Nanowire Networks

iOS 11 could use the iPhone’s NFC chip for more than Apple Pay
Share News

CPEIA in the News

NanoCnet earns Canada’s first printable and flexible electronics Startup of the Year Award 

SEMI | FlexTech and CPEIA announce partnership at CPES 2017

Adhesive manufacturer 3M’s tech footprint is larger than you might think

Literal printed electronics: How Voltera helps component manufacturers quickly test new products
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