intelliFLEX Newsletter

How Canada’s electronics industry can punch above its weight

By Peter Kallai

Canada’s electronics development and manufacturing industry needs to up its game.
But how do we compete against powerhouses like the U.S., China, India or Japan?
By looking at the following:
  • Where there are new opportunities with emerging technologies to create an industry that is also more eco-friendly and adaptive.
  • What new products and applications are being developed for niche markets with big growth potential.
  • How we can stem the tide of electronics development, prototyping and high-volume automated manufacturing activity that continues to head offshore and repatriate some of this work back to Canada.

The FHE advantage

The emerging flexible and hybrid electronics (FHE) sector offers Canada an unprecedented opportunity to deliver on all these goals. It represents billions of dollars in new opportunity for electronics manufacturers to drive industry momentum and create more high-value jobs.
FHE represents a new set of additive manufacturing methods that can be far more eco-friendly and cost-efficient than conventional subtractive processes. These include 2D large area printable electronics, flexible integrated circuits, 3D printable electronics for multi-layer PCBs, in-mould electronics and adding functionality to the surfaces of 3D objects. It encompasses conductive yarns which can be used to create smart garments, as well as thin-film integrated circuits and semiconductors.

The Canadian opportunity

Over the past several months, our team undertook some digging to quantify the size of Canada’s domestic electronics manufacturing industry. In the process of this, it became apparent that intelliFLEX is the only industry alliance in Canada with a singular focus on driving electronics design, development and manufacturing across the country.

Today, we unveil the outcome of this research with an infographic that profiles the domestic industry.
Read more about the Canadian opportunity

Have you taken the $100 Million Challenge?

Tell us about your investments in printable, flexible, hybrid electronics. 

We need your response by March 23.

Help us attract growth capital to our industry


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On Twitter: @intelliFLEX_org

On LinkedIn: Join our Groups – Printed Electronics Network, intelliPACK, intelliWEAR – or follow us on our intelliFLEX profile page. Our Printed Electronics Network, for example, has just passed 3,000 members!

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Spotlight on Funding Opportunities

Innovation Solutions Canada: The Engineered Surfaces Challenge

As we discuss below in the News section, Innovative Solutions Canada is a new program with over $100 million dedicated to supporting the scale up and growth of Canada’s innovators and entrepreneurs by having the federal government act as a first customer.

One of the challenges currently open is the Engineered Surfaces Challenge. Up to $1.15 million is up for grabs for any individual project through a two-phase grant system.

Sponsored by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, this challenge seeks novel solutions that incorporate the use of Frequency Selective Engineered Surfaces (FSES) in the research and development of new building materials, construction products and design tools using FSES tuned to operate in the below 6GHz (potentially addressing the WiFi interference issue) and above 24GHz range (potentially addressing the issues of radio frequency propagation).

The closing date to respond to this Challenge is April 4. Learn more on the Industry Canada website.


We have made it easy for you to submit your news to us for the News and Events sections of our website and this newsletter. Please use the online form on our public site.

Submit your News and Events to intelliFLEX

Innovation gets a further boost as Ottawa overhauls grant programs

The Financial Post recaps how Canada’s federal government is boosting funding for research and innovation while dramatically reorganizing how it doles out money to industry and academic institutions as part of the budget released on February 27. As a result, the number of grant programs will reduce from 92 to 35.

Read the full article.

Innovation Solutions Canada: Where challenge meets opportunity

Innovative Solutions Canada is a new program with over $100 million dedicated to supporting the scale up and growth of Canada’s innovators and entrepreneurs by having the federal government act as a first customer. Twenty participating federal departments and agencies will set aside a portion of funding to support the creation of innovative solutions by Canadian small businesses.

Participating federal departments and agencies will issue public challenges designed around a desired outcome rather than a known product or process specification and will be based on each department's mission and mandate.

Learn more about current challenges, program eligibility and how your organization can get involved.

Big pharma, big data: why drugmakers want your health records

A Reuters feature of interest to anyone in the smart packaging and data analytics space about data, privacy and the drive to use more “real-world evidence,” or RWE. Regulators believe this could cut the drug development costs associated with traditional clinical trial research, and help health-care professionals make better medical choices.

Read the full article.

How tech will influence the fashion landscape in 2018

This feature from Herald of Fashion covers it all, from voice as an interface, to increased connectivity, the impact of 3D printing, and, of course, data, as technology and fashion collide.

Read the full article.

CSA Group Call for Participation: Technical Committee on Wearable Electronic Devices and Technologies

CSA Group is recruiting members to participate on this new technical committee. The committee will provide technical feedback and the Canadian input for TC124 – Wearable Tech, a standard in the field of wearable electronic devices and technologies. These include patchable materials and devices, implantable materials and devices, ingestible materials and devices, and electronic textiles materials and devices.

The deadline to apply is April 15.

If you are interested in learning more or participating, please contact Project Manager Calvin
Lee at

NOTE: CSA Group offers online training sessions to members to support the knowledge and skills necessary to actively participate in the standards development process. Please contact Calvin for more information.


Pliant Power Devices is developing printable lithium ion battery technology to manufacture batteries in any shape and size and accommodate mechanical property requirements, such as flexibility. Pliant’s battery inks can be used to seamlessly integrate lithium ion batteries into wearable and printed electronics, removing design issues caused by traditional batteries.

Ynvisible Interactive’s vision is to bring everyday objects and surfaces to life, benefitting people in a smart and connected world. Its proprietary printed electrochromic (EC) displays are low power, low weight, thin, flexible, transparent and robust. The company’s mission is to provide a practical human interface to the Internet of Things as it becomes the Internet of Everything.


Build your dream team with OPE Careers

Our industry is growing and intelliFLEX Members are hiring. Build your dream team for printable, flexible, and hybrid 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


Industry INTELLIGENCE to get ahead

Read our latest intelliPACK white paper

Why reaching consumers through intelligent packaging is crucial to your business explores the market shifts that are driving the need for digital transformation across the packaging/retail ecosystem. We argue that the package – remade as an intelligent device to collect, store and transmit data – has the pivotal role to play.

Members of intelliFLEX can purchase the white paper at the discounted rate of $195 + tax. Log into the intelliFLEX Members Portal and then locate the PDF in the Publications Section of our website.


Ramping up for CPES2018

Check out of the full conference site and save some cash by registering early!

Canada’s premier conference and tradeshow exhibition for printable, flexible and hybrid electronics runs at Centennial College in Toronto, May 23 and 24.

CPES2018 Sponsor Spotlight: IDTechEx

Since 1999, Bronze Sponsor IDTechEx has provided independent market research, business intelligence and events on emerging technology to clients in over 80 countries. Its clients use these insights to help make strategic business decisions and grow their organizations.

IDTechEx’s globally cited analysts are mostly PhD-educated subject matter experts. Its analyst team also includes successful experienced business leaders. Primary industry research is carried out through interviews, site visits and events across the world. The focus is on assessing the needs of end users to identify problems where new technologies can add value.

IDTechEx is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with additional offices in the USA, Germany and Japan.

Key CPES2018 dates

ASAP – because these parts of the CPES2018 program are first come, first served:
  • Startup LaunchPad: Where qualifying startups can exhibit and attend CPES2018 at substantially discounted rates. Limited number of spots available.
  • Tabletop Exhibits: Hurry, space is filling up fast!
March 29: Extended deadline for Academic Poster Submissions
If you are looking to showcase your great ideas and technology to an audience of industry professionals, submit a poster presentation. Check out our new pricing for students and academics for CPES2018.

March 29: New CPES2018 Innovation Award Submission Deadline
With four categories this year including Women in STEM, our 3rd Annual Innovation Awards are sure to be a boon for your business. Just ask last year's winners Voltera, Information Mediary Corp and Nanocnet.

March 31: Regular early bird pricing ends
Save $100 off the regular CPES2018 admission before midnight.

May 10: CPES2018 Masterclasses Deadline
Arrive early to CPES2018 on May 22 and immerse yourself in a learning environment or extend your skills with one of four courses led by industry experts. Choose from Human-Centred DesignSmart TextilesEvolving Standards or Intellectual Property

2018 Calendar of Events

March 19, Montreal: Special meeting of Quebec stakeholders
This event is specifically geared toward Quebec members of intelliFLEX, or for Quebec companies considering membership.
Learn more.

March 28, Paris: AFELIM Printed Electronics Meeting
The annual meeting of the industry by intelliFLEX’s French counterpart, AFELIM. This is an excellent opportunity for our Members to engage with European and other international industry players.

In fact, intelliFLEX Members get a 20 per cent discount on admission. Contact Leo Valiquette at for the discount code.
Learn more and register.

April 4, Toronto, ON, (morning): intelliPACK Leadership Council Meeting
The intelliPACK Leadership Council will continue its discussions into environmental practices, funding and the future of the sector.  
Learn more.

April 4, Toronto, ON, (afternoon): intelliWEAR Leadership Council Meeting
This Leadership Council continues to gain momentum, with a strong representation from the East and the West. Join this group for a solid networking connection into the sector. 
Learn more.

April 26, Ottawa: Introduction to Flexible & Hybrid Electronics One-Day Course 
Includes EPTECH show floor access. This one-day course provides an overview for those interested in learning about the building blocks and the real-world applications for printable, flexible and hybrid electronics. Special discounts available for members of IEEE Toronto, Chemical Institute of Canada – Toronto Chapter and CIC.

April 26-28, Toronto: Digifest 2018 – Hello Tomorrow: Our Creative Cities
Digifest is Toronto’s international festival celebrating digital creativity.

Digifest 2018 will explore the theme Hello Tomorrow: Our Creative Cities to feature emerging technology and highlight stories from around the globe using tech to tackle challenges and pressing issues in growing cities.

The three-day tech conference, showcase and startup event is hosted by the Digital Media and Gaming Incubator at George Brown College.
Learn more and register.
May 10, Montreal: Wear it Smart
Vestechpro Apparel Research and Innovation Centre presents its new edition of Wear It Smart, a Montreal event dedicated to smart clothing and accessories. This year’s symposium addresses the use of workwear and industrial wearables to improve worker safety. Join 200 human resources and occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals, procurement managers, OHS solution providers, professors and researchers. 
Learn more.

Vancouver, June 6: Introduction to Flexible & Hybrid Electronics One-Day Course 
Same program as our April 26 course in Ottawa, on the west coast.
Register today.

June 26-28, San Jose: Sensors Expo & Conference
The Sensors Conference is where you’ll find the best in the sensors industry, along with new and innovative ways to jump-start your sensor solutions. It’s North America’s largest and most comprehensive educational program that brings thousands of engineering professionals together under one roof.

intelliFLEX members receive a US$100 discount from the VIP, Gold, and Main Conference Passes or a free Expo Hall Pass. To claim this benefit, please contact Leo Valiquette
Learn more about the conference.

Volunteer opportunities with intelliFLEX

We are seeking volunteers in Ottawa and/or Toronto who are eager to gain valuable experience and make connections within our industry. Are you a self-motivated and dependable individual willing to provide a consistent number of hours per week, from home or the local coffee shop, as part of a small team that accomplishes big things?

As a volunteer, you will work directly with our team on various activities equal to your abilities. These activities include:
  • Managing our social media relationships through Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Providing assistance on-site with registration and logistics at our events, including workshops, training courses, meetings and our annual conference in Toronto, CPES2018
  • Industry research in support of our workshop, training course and other program development
  • Other supportive duties as suited to your skills and availability
Why volunteer with intelliFLEX?

Consider this – our last volunteer secured full-time employment through the contacts he made working with us. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about emerging technologies and real applications for printable, flexible and hybrid electronics, and to engage with the movers and shakers who are driving this global growth industry.

Depending on your interests and career goals, this role could also evolve into a part-time paid position.

Volunteering requires a high level of integrity and discretion. Experience required with office productivity software, CRM systems (Agile).

Time commitment and specific responsibilities to be discussed.

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