Experts Explore Smart Materials Opportunities In Northeast Ohio

Experts Explore Smart Materials Opportunities in Northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND, April 22, 2016 — Northeast Ohio wants to be smart about growing smart materials expertise and innovation in our region.  Smart materials are materials that have one or more properties that can be significantly changed in a controlled fashion by external stimuli, such as stress, temperature, moisture, or pH. 

“Northeast Ohio is internationally recognized for innovation in both smart materials and eWriting,” explains Dr. Albert M. Green, CEO of Kent Displays Inc., based in Kent, Ohio, and the maker of Boogie Board eWriters. 

To make sure Northeast Ohio capitalizes on its strengths in this area, Team NEO and the FlexTech Alliance brought together more than 70 local experts from academia and industry in Kent. The purpose was to encourage the participants to share insights and build alliances to expand regional, national and global leadership in commercialization of a particular area of smart materials: flexible electronics. 

Called the Flexible Electronics Workshops, the event focused on the impact of smart materials on flexible electronic devices and the future of eWriting.  Participants learned how handwriting will co-exist with digitization and the components and technology existing and being developed to make it happen. Kent Display provided support for the event. 

“Team NEO and its regional economic development partners are focused on driver industries – those that are projected to drive the most significant job growth in our region,” said Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “Flexible electronic technology impacts nearly every one of those industries; they are innovating, producing and consuming it.  We are committed to making our region the place to go for people who want to innovate and companies that want to excel in flex tech.” 

Featured speakers over the two-day workshop included: Michael Dudzik of IQM Research Institute who spoke about his work on identifying applications and uses for flexible hybrid electronics in the automotive industry, Penkanok Sriwiriyanont of Kimberly Clark who spoke about smart materials usage in personal care products, John Voultos from DuPont who demonstrated how DuPont is using smart materials to integrate sensors into vehicles, and Michael Mallamaci of Parker Hannifin who spoke about his company’s smart materials usage in industrial applications. 

Team NEO is committed to advancing innovation in flexible electronics. Companies interested in getting connected should contact Team NEO. 

About Team NEO
Team NEO is an economic development organization focused on creating jobs for Northeast Ohio’s residents. In collaboration with our partners, it leads the region’s business attraction efforts, supports business retention and expansion work as Northeast Ohio’s JobsOhio affiliate, accelerates the impact of innovation in the region, and aligns strategies and resources within the economic development network to maximize its impact. In addition, Team NEO provides tools to assist employers in attracting talent to the region. For more information, visit and

About  FlexTech Alliance
FlexTech Alliance, headquartered in San Jose, California, is devoted to fostering the growth, profitability and success of the flexible and printed electronics supply chain, and the many application areas enabled by this new class of electronic intelligence. FlexTech Alliance offers expanded collaboration between and among industry, academia, and research organizations for advancing flexible, printed electronics from R&D to commercialization.