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A new consortium funded by an award from the U.S. Department of Defense has selected Purdue University to co-lead its first project aimed at advancing the adoption of lead-free electronics in defense systems.
The Defense Electronics Consortium (DEC), to be established and managed by the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE), is designed to address the defense risks created by the contraction of the U.S. electronics manufacturing sector over the last 20 years.
Purdue, the University of Maryland and Auburn University will lead the consortium’s Lead-Free Defense Electronics Project, which has received $40 million to be distributed over a period of five to seven years. Of the $3.9 million in funds for the first year of the project, approximately $1 million has been awarded to researchers at Purdue’s West Lafayette and Northwest campuses.
The project’s goal is to foster research and action to accelerate the transition to lead-free electronics in aerospace, defense and other high-performance electronics. Consumer and automotive electronics have been transitioning to lead-free technologies since 2006 when the European Union banned the sale of lead-containing electronics. Japan, India and China followed suit with similar bans.