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Merck, BASF, Apple, and Xerox all made recent investment in start-ups in disparate parts of the printed electronics universe. Merck acquired Qlight, a developer of quantum dots for liquid crystal displays (LCDs), BASF acquired silver nanowire technology for transparent conductive films from Seashell, Apple is rumored to have acquired thin-film battery developer Infinite Power Solutions, and Xerox partnered with smart packaging developer Thin Film Electronics. Using the Lux Innovation Grid framework, we evaluated these start-ups and their competitors to determine if Merck, BASF, Apple, and Xerox made the correct investments and identify where opportunities exist for competitors to enter these markets though investment with alternative start-ups. While Xerox partnered with the top smart packaging technology developer, Merck, BASF, and Apple all acquired average technologies, and start-ups like Quantum Materials, Sinovia, and Cymbet are attractive targets for those looking to compete with the acquisitions that Merck, BASF, and Apple have made, respectively.
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