Novares Invests in FlexEnable

FlexEnable said that Novares, a global plastic solutions provider serving the automotive industry, will make equity investments into FlexEnable totaling €5 million.

This strategic investment will drive FlexEnable’s engineering and manufacturing efforts to bring flexible organic LCD (OLCD) to automotive interiors, changing where and how displays are used in vehicles. Automotive designers now have the freedom to replace today’s flat screens with bendable, wrappable, glass-free OLCD technology that is better suited to the shapes of the modern car interior while enabling ‘smart surfaces’.

Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said:

“We are delighted to be working closely with and supported by Novares, who have taken a leadership position in bringing smart surfaces to the automotive supply chain. With the automotive display market valued at $22 billion by 2022, this investment is a further validation of FlexEnable’s glass-free display technology and licensing business model. Currently being transferred into mass production, OLCD is serving the growing demand for low-cost, high-reliability, conformable and shapeable displays to meet the rapidly changing needs of the automotive HMI.”

“Open to current or future partners and co-innovators, Novares has created a Venture Capital Fund of 50 million euros to invest in the development of technological innovations over the next five years, with a first equity investment in FlexEnable. This will support Novares’ new solutions for clean, light, connected and autonomous cars that are user-friendly, incorporating HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) with an improved passenger experience.”

said Pierre Boulet, Novares CEO.

In March 2018 Novares unveiled its Nova Car #1 demo which features FlexEnable’s flexible OLCD in the design of the cockpit. Called FlexView, this innovation uses augmented reality to improve security and can be easily integrated into modern cockpits.

Flexenable flexible LCDFlexenable showed this flexible LCD at MWC. Image:Meko

Analyst Comment

We have been reporting on the developments at Flexenable for some time. The flexible LCD technology is really for ‘conformable’ LCDs that are bent at the time of manufacture, but without the bend being repeated by flexing during the lifetime. That is like an automotive application. Of course, automotive makers have long experience of qualifying and supporting LCD technology in its products. (BR)