European Project SusFE: Enabling circular economy in the healthcare sector
Nine Euopean partners, including Fraunhofer EMFT, team up to develop processes and flexible electronics for a sustainable low-cost high-volume manufacture of medical diagnostic devices.
European countries are facing rising healthcare costs due to an aging population. There is a need for more sustainable and lower cost medical devices. Chronic and acute diseases require medical devices that provide reliable and fast actionable data. They must be cost-effective and have a low environmental footprint.
In this context and within the healthcare sector, SusFE provides solutions that promote the green and circular economy, contributing to European leadership in the area of flexible, printed and organic electronics. The project was launched last October 2022, under the coordination of the INNOVA (Integrated Health Solutions) team of Medtronic Ibérica. SusFE is a project funded for 3 years with approximately 3.2 million euros by the European Commission's Horizon Europe Framework Programme within Cluster 4 Digital, Industry and Space.
The EU SusFE project aims to develop a sustainable design and production platform for the next generation of wearable and diagnostic healthcare devices. It will combine a novel flexible integrated circuit (FlexIC), printed sensors and a compostable paper power supply with a roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing platform. SusFE uses a combination of sustainable materials and processes to create eco-friendly solutions for three use cases: wound healing monitoring, blood self-sampling, and point-of-care (POC) diagnostic testing devices.
The consortium is made up of nine partners from across Europe, including Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. The other eight partners participating in Europe include: the University of Teesside (UK), Medtronic Ibérica (Spain), Sofradim Production (France), VTT Technical Research Centre (Finland), Capitainer (Sweden), BeFC (France), Molecular Plasma Group (Luxembourg), and Pragmatic Semiconductor Limited (UK).
The SusFE consortium hopes to positively impact in research related to more sustainable medical device industrialization processes, making Europe more climate neutral and environmentally friendly.