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In the "classic industrialized countries" it may not yet have reached everyone, but even in Portugal there is now far more to discover than good port wine and products made of cork. A fact that HANNOVER MESSE 2022 is now taking into account by choosing Portugal as this year's Partner Country. One of the companies based there is SOPLAST, which specializes in the production of thermoplastic parts by injection molding. The family-owned company, founded in 1980, will be represented in Hanover with its UNIC2 solution, developed jointly with the University of Coimbra.

UNIC2 is a novel cockpit concept for vehicle interiors, whose patent-pending technology is to be integrated for the first time into vehicle interior functions such as seat functions, steering and other human-machine interfaces (HMI). To this end, SOPLAST combines electronics and surface materials to create a functional, elastic fabric. This is to be achieved primarily with the aid of printed electronic circuits that are extremely stretchable (over nine times their original size). They should also be easy to connect to electronic components and be fully recyclable in the interests of a sustainable economy. They can be used to create unlimited surface shapes on any material in the vehicle interior, integrating different functions, from sensors of all types to antennas.