Company Wins $1.5M Contract for Phase II SBIR Program from Rapid Sustainment Office

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Oct. 28, 2021– Electroninks, the leader in particle-free conductive metal inks and advanced materials, today announced that it has received nearly $1.5M in Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding to develop advanced manufacturing hardware and particle-free conductive inks for printed circuit boards from the Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO).  

The Air Force will use Electroninks’ advanced manufacturing hardware and particle-free conductive inks both at home and in rapid and austere (remote) environments to provide an agile manufacturing solution for printed circuit boards (PCBs) on demand and at the point of use. The solution better enables the Air Force to reduce waste and extend aircraft and other systems lifespans — all while driving down costs and increasing mission readiness.  

PCBs are used in every electronic device from modern aircraft to guidance systems. 

The current manufacturing process to produce PCBs, which are tailored to individual applications, can take weeks or longer, plus the market is currently dominated by foreign manufacturers, causing supply chain risks. Electroninks’ contract enables an economical, rapidly deployable and portable additive manufacturing solution for PCBs.

“Electroninks particle-free inks and CircuitJet printers have the potential to provide a highly reliable and flexible solution required for development of printed circuit boards needed to help sustain important Air Force systems,” said Leslie Edmondson, RSO Innovation & Integration Program Manager.

Electroninks particle-free inks provide versatile, low-cost, domestically produced, all-in-one additive manufacturing solutions. Electroninks CircuitJet I and Circuit Jet II printers can print PCBs on demand and with a 90 percent reduction in the cost of metal inks.

“The U.S. Air Force is known for leading innovation in technology and science. At Electroninks, we are committed to using the power of advanced materials to enable and manufacture the products of the future,” said Brett Walker, Electroninks CEO. “This SBIR contract places Electroninks at the forefront of major developments that will help change and shape the Air Force of the future.”

Electroninks highly conductive inks are the first and only high volume manufacturing particle-free inks to work with inkjet printing. The company’s proprietary inks are formulated in silver, gold, platinum, nickel and copper and are stretchable, highly reflective, RoHS compliant, catalytically active and antimicrobial. The company does not use traditional binders and surfactants, providing superior environmental stability and reliability. Electroninks inks are free from impurities – approaching 99.99% metal.

About Electroninks

Electroninks Inc. provides high-performance, advanced materials that enable technology and manufacturing breakthroughs with our innovative customers to turn promising ideas into profitable new products. The company’s portfolio of products based on its proprietary particle-free conductive metal inks provides cost-effective, highly-stable and reliable solutions for applications in semiconductor packaging, consumer electronics, and medical devices. The company is the first to provide particle-free conductive inks in silver, gold, platinum, nickel and copper. Electroninks’ novel formulations are ideal for the design and manufacturing of today’s smaller, lighter, more highly functional electronic products as well as agile manufacturing and rapid maintenance needs.

Electroninks has forged strategic partnerships with Applied Materials, Merck, FujiFilm, the DoD and other Tier 1 equipment and supply chain partners that allow the company to focus on innovation, while still meeting customers demands for quality, reliability and scale. To date, Electroninks has raised Series A and B funding from firms known for material science development and defense integration including Applied Materials, InQTel, Band Gap Ventures, ITIC, and M-Ventures. Electroninks is located in Austin, Texas.

About the Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO)

Established by the Secretary of the Air Force in 2018, the RSO increases mission readiness by rapidly identifying, applying, and scaling technology essential to the operation and sustainment of the United States Air Force.

Melbs LeMieux, Electroninks co-founder and President, will speak at TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo. Find more information on the TechConnect website here.


Brett Walker, Electroninks’ co-founder and CEO, will speak at the Printed Electronics USA conference in Santa Clara, CA, Nov. 15 – 17. The conference focuses on The Application of Printed, Organic and Flexible Electronics.

Find out more on the conference webpage.

Screenshot of Scientific American article on materials that will change manufacturing

Electroninks won an NSF Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase I grant for Reactive Silver Inks for High Performance Printed Electronics.

“This Phase I project will focus on optimizing novel silver ink formulations that have a low weight percentage of silver (10-20%) that achieve much higher conductivity (50-90% of bulk silver) than current silver pastes (5-10% of bulk silver) at temperatures that are compatible with low-cost substrates (<150ºC).”

Find out more on the NSF Award Abstract page here.

Electroninks is partnering with Plextronics  on a $175,000 U.S. Department of Energy Phase 1 (Release 2) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award for the design and development of low-cost processes of OLED lighting printed electrodes.

Read more about this partnership on OLED-Info.

Contact Us

We’re available to answer any of your questions about how Electroninks can benefit your product development and manufacturing.

Get in Touch