PrintFM was a Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) project set up to support industry in Wales to exploit the use of printing as a manufacturing process to produce high added value and hi-tech products.
Printing as a method to manufacture functional products is forecast to be a 55 billion dollar market by 2020; therefore this section of the fast growing industry is the subject of much research worldwide. However the hi-tech and high value nature the production demands are significantly higher than for graphics printing. In order for Wales to build on its strengths in the printing industry and to establish itself as a manufacturing centre for printed electronics companies in Wales need support from academia to reduce risk and develop techniques in advance of large scale investment. Printing of Functional Materials (PrintFM) was a Knowledge Transfer Centre (KTC) project funded by the Welsh Government's Academic for Business (A4B) programme. Through the seminars and other dissemination methods, the project provided a platform to raise the awareness of companies within Wales of how they could add value to their business by incorporation functional products into their manufacturing streams as well as providing them with the opportunity of networking with members of a global industry. During the project, the team worked with partner companies to produce demonstrators and to develop the skills required to produce new products utilising functional materials. This provided these companies with a technological lead over European rivals.