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Innovation

CSIRO, KISCO, Boron Molecular ink polymer deal to develop flexible electronics

The polymer material can also be used for other applications in health, industry, and agriculture.
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Written by Aimee Chanthadavong on
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Image: CSIRO

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Melbourne-based company Boron Molecular, and South Korean manufacturing firm Kyung-In Synthetic Corporation (KISCO) have signed an agreement to commercialise polymer material for flexible electronics like phone screens, and other applications in health, industry, and agriculture. 

Under the agreement, Boron Molecular and KISCO will use a suite of CSIRO technologies to manufacture what they've dubbed as "high purity precision engineered polymers". 

The CSIRO processes and technologies that will be used by Boron Molecular include reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) to enable the production of polymers; flow chemistry, a process that is used to create flexible electronics using polymers; metal organic frameworks that absorb molecules and harvest water from air; and MS3 art conservation resin. 

See also: Forecast: 240 million devices will have flexible or foldable screens by 2028 (TechRepublic)

KISCO CEO and president Sung Yong Cho said the company will initially focus on developing polymers for flexible electronics. 

"We're looking forward to making the first products from this new partnership available to Korean electronics companies this year," he said. 

"CSIRO is a powerhouse of chemistry and materials research and through our partnership with Boron Molecular we can scale up and deliver this research to new markets." 

In addition, CSIRO and KISCO will both take a minority shareholding in Boron Molecular, a company that was originally spun out of CSIRO 20 years ago. 

In 2015, Boron Molecular signed a master license agreement with CSIRO to commercialise a suite of CSIRO polymer and advanced material technologies, including RAFT.   

"We thank CSIRO for their long-term trust in, and support for our company," Boron Molecular managing director Zoran Manev said. 

"Now with the manufacturing capability, international reach and reputation of KISCO, we can offer CSIRO's chemical technologies at scale to a global market." 

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