How to minimize the ecological footprint for functional electronics?

Project: EU project

Project Details


A growing desire for continuous data collection, real time information and connectivity has resulted in increased demand for electronic functionalities that are fully integrated in everyday objects. Consumer electronics, healthcare, wearable electronics, IoT and smart packaging are examples of market segments that follow this trend. Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are the state of the art to create electronic functions; however, this technology creates an ever increasing strain on the environment because recycling and/or dismantling of the PCB can hardly be done. A radical sustainability improvement requires disruptive electronics manufacturing processes, technologies and materials. Printed electronics are more environmentally friendly than the traditional PCB, due to their additive character (printing instead of etching), the absence of chemical etching materials, low energy demanding process conditions and possibility for recovery or re-use of substrates and (metallic) inks. Thereto, in ECOTRON, flexible, organic & printed electronics are advanced through a multidisciplinary approach involving biobased materials, innovative (print) processes, and device and module dismantling technologies. Furthermore, recycling technologies and standards will be developed that are eventually integrated in a process design for a printed electronics recycling plant. Simultaneously, the lifetime of printed electronics is improved for larger implementation of printed electronics into everyday products. ECOTRON will create use-case demonstrators in existing state-of-the-art electronics products in consumer electronics, smart packaging, healthcare and wearable electronics market segments to demonstrate the potential environmental enhancements.
Effective start/end date1/09/2231/08/26

Collaborative partners

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Instituto Tecnológico del Embalaje, Transporte y Logística (ITENE)
  • Becton Dickinson France SAS
  • Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) (lead)
  • Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA)
  • Polar Electro Oy
  • Polytechnic University of Milan
  • Técnicas Reunidas SA
  • Signify Netherlands B.V
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica NV
  • AMIRES s.r.o.

Funding category

  • Horizon Europe


  • manufacturing engineering
  • recycling
  • internet of things