Electronics & Computers

SunPartner and 3M to Collaborate

October 23, 2013

The two companies have agreed to work together to develop a wireless transparent micro component that will charge consumer mobile electronics while they are being used and exposed to light.

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France & ST. PAUL, MN /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Sunpartner Technologies and 3M Co. announce an agreement to collaborate in product development and technical solutions, capitalizing on innovative engineered electronics materials from 3M and transparent solar cell technologies from Sunpartner Technologies. The two companies are developing a sustainable wireless transparent micro component that will charge devices while they are being used and exposed to light. This game-changing development will give consumers the ability to charge their mobile phones and tablets with just natural or artificial light—no electrical outlets needed for power.

Combining 3M Optically Clear Adhesives (OCAs) with SunPartner's Wysips Crystal drives this innovative advance in consumer electronics energy management. Wysips—What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface—transforms any surface into a solar panel that can generate its own energy from natural or artificial light. These photovoltaic cells activate from the moment they are exposed to light and charge the battery or power the equipment they are connected to, revolutionizing businesses and the daily lives of consumers with electronics always at the ready.

Wysips ultra-thin transparent photovoltaic layer is embedded into electronic displays and supplies enough energy to keep the device charged, so it will not run out of power. The more sophisticated phones and their integrated features—apps, gaming, movies, books, email, web—suck the life out of batteries—a common complaint among consumers. Extended battery life is, therefore, taking on ever-greater importance in consumer purchase decisions. The continuous solar charge makes phones always accessible—indoors or outdoors.

The combination of SunPartner's Wysips Crystal technology with 3M OCAs will be a sustainable answer to the consumer electronics industry's energy management needs.

Based on core 3M adhesive technology, 3M OCAs are precision-manufactured to eliminate common adhesive visual defects, such as bubbling, which can distort the display and diminish consumer satisfaction with their device. 3M OCA's precisely meet specific display bonding requirements, with the unique ability to customize the functionality, reactivity, and performance of the adhesive.

3M's collaborative culture and bench-to-bench approach, combined with electronics materials expertise, breadth of product portfolio, and alignment with key consumer electronics industry leaders strategically complement SunPartner's emerging technologies, presenting a sustainable and innovative answer to demanding industry needs.

"We see strong synergies to serve our customers in consumer electronics markets with the help of 3M as a trusted partner and expert in materials excellence," said Ludovic Deblois, President and co-founder of Sunpartner Technologies. "Their reach with world-class mobile and display manufacturers, combined with our efforts, will enable us to move faster and to develop revolutionary solutions and foresee world-class support for a wide range of applications for our customers to help speed their products to market."

Suited to indoor or outdoor applications, the technology can be integrated into all kinds of displays and nomad devices: mobile phones, e-readers, electronics shelf labels, watches, and wireless sensors. The added source of energy production changes neither the design nor aesthetics of the device. The transparent photovoltaic component is connected to an electronic chip, which converts and manages the energy produced to charge a battery.

"It is exciting to see both an innovative and sustainable solution for this industry. We are thrilled to leverage our technical materials expertise, along with SunPartner's unique solutions, to enable key customers worldwide to bring new and exciting possibilities to the next generation of electronic devices" said Herve Gindre, Vice President and General Manager, 3M Electronics Markets Materials. "This team effort aligns well with 3M's commitment to collaborative innovation, sustainability, and improving business and people's lives."

The Wysips Crystal with 3M OCAs is designed to be used with existing materials and screen technologies, with an eye on product development for materials and designs of the future. 3M's ongoing commitment to supply and meet customers' demands for better and sustainable solutions that add value will continue to be at the forefront of next-generation adhesives.

The agreement between Sunpartner Technologies and 3M will benefit licensees, industry, and consumers with a sustainable solution that changes the energy management of electronic devices and will provide new freedom for consumers. Under the agreement, Sunpartner Technologies is now designing prototypes for three global leaders in mobile telephony. The company plans to finalize two new agreements in the coming months and sign the first licenses during the first half of 2014.

About 3M
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries.

For more information, follow @3MNews on Twitter.

About Sunpartner
Founded in 2008, Sunpartner Technologies is an engineering company specializing in Solar New Energy Technologies. It develops innovative solutions in the field of light energy and smart surfaces. Based in Aix-en-Provence (France), the company has a team of 40 employees. Sunpartner Technologies has recently won awards in innovation and from the business community. These include 2012, Ernst & Young Enterprise of the Future; March 2013, Nobel Sustainability Clean Tech Company; September 2013, Technology Pioneer, World Economic Forum.

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