OSA-Direct
Thursday, 23 Nov 2017

FlexTech receives US$75 million to set-up a Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Facility

The FHE MII, which comprises 96 companies, 11 laboratories and non-profits, 42 universities, and 14 state and regional organisations

28 Aug 2015 | Editor

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded FlexTech Alliance a Cooperative Agreement to establish and manage a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE MII). The award is for US$75 million in federal funding over a five-year period and is being matched by more than US$96 million in cost sharing from non-federal sources, including the City of San Jose, private companies, universities, several U.S. states, and not-for-profit organisations.

FlexTech Alliance’s winning proposal results in the first of seven MIIs to be headquartered on the West Coast. The DoD’s Manufacturing Technology Program Office (ManTech) oversees the MIIs.

The announcement was made by U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, at National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field.

FlexTech Alliance, a research consortium and trade association, successfully proposed a San Jose-based hub and node approach to create the FHE MII, which comprises 96 companies, 11 laboratories and non-profits, 42 universities, and 14 state and regional organisations.

This broad-based support underscores the market potential for flexible hybrid electronics, and reaffirms Silicon Valley’s role as an essential hub for innovation.

The Institute’s activities will benefit a wide array of markets beyond defence, including automotive, communications, consumer electronics, medical devices, health care, transportation and logistics, and agriculture. While the Institute will be headquartered in San Jose, existing nodes around the country already have in place an infrastructure ready to solve some of the known manufacturing challenges. The Institute will distribute R&D funds via competitively-bid project calls. Industry-generated technology roadmaps will drive project calls, timelines and investments.

FlexTech - FHE MII<

Figure: FlexTech - FHE MII

To complement the San Jose hub, key technology nodes will be linked and include IC thinning, system design and fabrication, integration and assembly, and FHE applications.

Several regional nodes have been recognised and more are expected. Those currently aligned to the institute are centers and educational institutions throughout California, along with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas.

Additionally, education and training in FHE manufacturing will be emphasised in order to expand the available workforce. A "Flex School" concept will be developed through partnerships with community colleges, teaching and research universities, trade associations, and professional societies.

Michael Ciesinski, president and CEO of FlexTech Alliance, said,"FlexTech is privileged to accept this award from the Defense Department to stand up and lead the FHE MII. Our partners collaborated on a superb proposal that links a national hub in San Jose to a network of centers of excellence throughout the U.S. We are excited by the FHE manufacturing challenge and eager to get operations underway."
Dr. Malcolm Thompson, Executive Director-designate of the Institute, said, "The intent of the MII is to draw in the country’s ‘best of the best’ scientists, engineers, manufacturing experts and business development professionals in the field of flexible hybrid electronics." Malcolm added. "he Institute. Under the FlexTech proposal, the Hub provides overall program direction, is the integrator of components, creates prototypes, and matures manufacturing readiness levels (MRLs). "Fast start" projects for equipment, materials, devices and other vital components will make use of existing node facilities and key personnel from around the country.

Flexible hybrid electronics, an emerging manufacturing capability, enables the integration of thin silicon electronic devices, sensing elements, communications, and power on non-traditional flexible substrates. FHE has the potential to re-shape entire industries, from the electronic wearable devices market, to medical health monitoring systems, to the ubiquitous sensing of the world around us – also known as the Internet of Things. To be successful, the Institute will need to engage aspects of the integrated circuit (IC) industry, the graphics printing industry, and the electronic assembly/packaging industry.

The new institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program (NNMI). The FHE MII is the seventh MII announced—the fifth under DOD management. The NNMI program is an initiative of the Obama Administration to support advanced manufacturing in the U.S. Each institute is part of a growing network dedicated to securing U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies required to win the next generation of advanced manufacturing. Bridging the gap between applied research and large-scale product manufacturing, the institutes bring together companies, universities, other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in technology areas that benefit the nation’s commercial and national defense interests.

Source: FlexTech Alliance

www.flextech.org    www.fhemii.com   


About FlexTech Alliance

FlexTech Alliance is a leading industry association focused on growth, profitability, and success throughout the manufacturing and distribution chain of flexible, printed electronics, and displays. By facilitating collaboration between and among industry, government, and academia, FlexTech Alliance develops solutions for advancing these technologies from R&D to commercialization.

Source: FlexTech Alliance

About FHEMII

In response to the emerging call for flexible hybrid electronics across myriad industries, including military, medical, transportation, consumer electronics, wearables and beyond, the FlexTech Alliance, together with the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program Office (ManTech), other government organizations, companies, academia and non-profits, have created the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute.

Source: FHEMII


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