Based in Cambridge, England, FlexEnable makes a flexible electronic transfer system that allows displays to be printed on film, among other products.
According to Novares, FlexEnable is “the only company to have successfully industrialized flexible ... technology with more than 600 related patents.”
As part of the partnership, the two companies will develop innovative glass-free flexible electronic displays and sensors or “smart surfaces” for automotive applications.
Novares' expertise in designing and manufacturing automotive parts will be combined with FlexEnable's bendable, glass-free plastic electronics technology.
“The flexibility provided by this technology, together with Novares' integrator know-how, can give automotive designers a much larger variety of shapes to work with, and replace the present flat screens that are not ideally suited to the current shapes of cars' interior,” the French supplier said.
Novares said its venture capital arm will further invest in technological innovators in the near future.
“Open to current or future partners and co-innovators, such as Actronika and Quad, the new fund will reinforce the Group's strategy, in terms of strategic mergers and acquisitions (M&A) combined with strategic research and development (R&D) activities,” said Pierre Boulet, Novares CEO.
This, he added, 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.
Also commenting, Chuck Milligan, CEO of FlexEnable, said the investment will help supply "low-cost, highly-reliable, conformable and shapeable displays" to the automotive display market, which is set to grow to $22 billion by 2022.