3D-Electronics: Circular from the start-up

We are the start-up Fair-Fusion, an interdisciplinary research organisation that develops sustainable solutions in terms of prototypes and theories. Our mission is to propose possibilities to reduce plastic pollution, stop global climate change and preserve vital ecosystem functions. Here we are going to explain to you what this special project is about and how you can apply for this project.

So, are you up for joining us to change the world? Then go-on, learn about the problem and how we aim to tackle it using the best of your talents and skills.

The Problem

The ubiquitous and growing use of modern electronics seem to have established itself as a remarkably valuable and convenient tool. At the centre are Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) that perform all necessary processing tasks. The production and especially the recycling process of these PCBs is a diverse and complex process, where the sustainability of the system as a whole is increasingly being questioned (Tan et al., 2016). We at Fair-Fusion think that we should change this, the sooner, the better. In context of the collaboration between the University of Pisa, University of Amsterdam, NHL Stenden, Saxion and Fair-Fusion we present you this special project that is part of a much larger project. This overarching project aims to develop sustainable Printed Circuit Board materials according to the ‘two-cycle model’ i.e. fully mechanically recyclable and biodegradable materials. With the newly selected materials we should be able to 3D-print an 8-computerchip by 2020. Apart from sustainability it means that you no longer have to think object and chip separately; the frame of your bike is the battery and the chip itself. However, computing power of the earlier models might be limited at the beginning.

Your challenge is to address sustainability issues by developing a business plan that will guarantee success: European use of recyclable and biodegradable electronics within x years. We advise you to look at applications where low frequency calculations are not required[1]; Think: prosthesis for children, web-servers, Arduino, bicycle electronics, wearable electronic etc.

What you will be doing

Your first step is to get to grips with the technology: ‘How does it work?’ and ‘What is the latest news?’. The next step is to write the Beta business plan to the best of your abilities within the given time. Do not forget to incorporate the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Time Specific) and an interdisciplinary approach. The latter means that you need to use language from at least three scientific disciplines and use some kind of interdisciplinary model; we propose you to use the ‘two-cycle-model’ but you may select another one that meets the criteria. In the meantime your team will assemble a virtual ‘Board Of Experts’ (BOE). At least five members will evaluate your business plan as a whole, or parts of it. Try to select member who are experts in their field and thus can make a unique contribution to the evaluation of you business plan. Maybe get a psychologist, anthropologist, philosopher or an ‘Industrial Product Designer’ onto your board; people who are willing to do some reading and an interview.

The third step is to perform the interviews. With the goal of evaluating your business plan and potentially research question(s). Perhaps try to record your interviews for later assessment with audio and/or video. You might want to initiate the interview by asking them how they would summarise the proposal. This will indicate if they understood your proposal and what their take is on your proposal. Then come with the more specific questions on how they think the proposal might be improved upon. Be vigilant about betraying your objectives. The goal is to shape concepts and thinking processes. Grammar and style discussions are thus impervious. The last step is to write the Alfa business plan. This contains all the elements of your original business plan and the integrated parts of your five interviews. This will be the report you are required to submit for grading. You may use the report also for starting your very own spin-off.

Collaborating organizations: Waternet, NHL Stenden, Saxion, Drenthe College, Universiteit van Amsterdam University of Pisa, ZeroZoone, Popken Mechatronica.

We care about the future of our planet and on this way we strive to recruit the best talents. Join us!

Send an e-mail to us at info@fair-fusion.eu

[1] Below 1,0 Gigaflops (floating point operations per second) which is less then an Intel Pentium 4 processor.

Supplementary material

Open source CPU!?
Beyond bionics: how the future of prosthetics is redefining humanity
Douglas Rushkoff Deconstructs the Digital Economy
Make plastic printed circuits with a standard laser cutter