Expanding the field of Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE)
Formed in 2015 through a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and FlexTech Alliance, NextFlex is a consortium of companies, academic institutions, non-profits and state, local and federal governments with a shared goal of advancing U.S. Manufacturing of FHE. By adding electronics to new and unique materials that are part of our everyday lives in conjunction with the power of silicon ICs to create conformable and stretchable smart products, FHE is ushering in an era of “electronics on everything” and advancing the efficiency of our world.
Via a series of technical working groups, NextFlex subject matter experts from across industry, academia and government have come together to collaborate on roadmaps, key technology gaps and the necessary technology planning required to advance the FHE ecosystem.
Each working group is led by a three-person team of co-leads, including one from academia, one from government and one from industry, who together with over 150 diverse subject matter experts, are developing roadmaps that identify gaps in the ecosystem and where Project Call focus and funding should be applied for technology development. Current focus areas include:
- Human Performance Monitoring
- Asset Monitoring
- Integrated Array Antennas
- Soft Robotics
- Device Integration & Packaging
- Printed Structures & Microfluidics
- Design Modeling & Simulation
- Standards, Test & Reliability
As NextFlex Members, companies large and small are teaming up with academic institutions, nonprofits and governments with one mission — to advance the flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing ecosystem in America. Some of the manufacturing membership benefits are:
- Donated equipment is considered an in-kind contribution that offsets dues, giving a company access to full member benefits at a reduced out of pocket expense.
- Early visibility into new materials, new processes and new products that will become industry standard.
- Access to technologists from across the country and beyond that will gain access to, and familiarity and technical competency with, your equipment.
- The NextFlex Technology Hub serves a showplace for manufacturing equipment that is constantly on display for tours of visitors from all over the world.
- The NextFlex production line is regularly and prominently featured in all Member and general audience presentations, thereby increasing the awareness, understanding and visibility of every Technology Hub participant.
It takes people coming together from across the United States in industry, academia and state, local and federal governments to collaborate and coordinate their efforts to move what are a series of good ideas from R&D into commercial production, and to concurrently develop a skilled workforce able to manufacture the solution at the other end. And at the center of all of these efforts, acting as the connective tissue binding everything together, is NextFlex.
The Flexible Revolution is here. Find out how you can get involved!