Sint-Niklaas, Belgium — French automotive supplier Novares Group has acquired a minority stake in Belgian plastronics company Quad Industries to create intelligent systems for automotive interiors.
Based in Sint-Niklaas, Quad Industries specializes in printed flexible electronics and has a production plant in Slovakia making user interfaces and control panels for both consumer and industrial applications.
In recent years, Quad Industries has extended its activities into printed electronics, with the development and production of printed, flexible sensor solutions.
Novares made the investment through Novares Venture Capital, which was created in February 2018 to advance the company's added value products such as smart surfaces.
The investment is an extension of the two companies' collaboration, which started in May 2018.
The two parties have been working on advanced user experience projects within Novares open innovation lab, the Nova Car.
Quad's technology is already integrated in the Novares "Touch'N Play" concept, incorporated in the Novares demo car, Nova Car No. 1, shown in early 2018. The companies also are collaborating on intuitive intelligent interfaces using 3D shaped electronics for Nova Car No. 2, which will be unveiled June 25 in Paris.
Other future projects, Novares said in an April 23 release, will include co-developments of technologies in proximity sensing, gesture control, vital signs monitoring or stretchable sensors.
"This investment from Novares … reinforces our long-term collaboration. Novares brings the needed know-how to integrate our technologies into automotive components and systems," Arne Casteleyn, Quad co-CEO and sales director, said
Since its launch last year, Novares Venture Capital has also invested in other start-ups including FlexEnable, APAG-CoSyst and Actronika.
"[The investments are] illustrative of the group's strategy to feed our innovation ecosystem with close and long-term startup partnerships," said Novares CEO Pierre Boulet.
Quad's printed electronics, Boulet added, will play a key role in Novares' smart surfaces technologies.