NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE)
Manufacturing Institute, today released Project Call 5.0 (PC 5.0) — the
latest call for proposals to fund projects that seek to further the
development and adoption of FHE. Response to the first four project
calls exceeded expectations, resulting in over $73M in investment. The
PC 5.0 total project value is expected to exceed $10.5 million (project
value/investment figures include cost-sharing) bringing the total
anticipated investment in advancing flexible hybrid electronics since
NextFlex’s formation to over $83.5M.
NextFlex has experienced an increasingly focused Project Call process,
building upon developments from preceding Project Calls. PC 1.0 focused
largely on FHE application areas in two large markets: human health
monitoring and structural asset monitoring. PC 2.0 benefitted from the
NextFlex roadmap activity by identifying gaps resulting from that early
work. As a result, several equipment development efforts were launched
to create tools tailored for FHE production. PC 3.0 turned the focus to
two areas: subsystem development and manufacturing process and
capability gaps. PC 4.0 focused on key needs in the FHE manufacturing
process and demonstrated newly enabled applications in digital health,
commercial aviation and national security needs.
Project Call 5.0 focuses on challenges related to scalable manufacturing
and application-driven manufacturing gaps that have been prioritized by
the community across a wide range of application areas — from
anti-counterfeiting to structural health monitoring to hypersonics.
These areas cover the spectrum from design tools to fabrication
processes to materials data generation.
“Our Project Calls address industry-driven problems, those critical
manufacturing issues that are best solved collaboratively,” said Malcolm
J. Thompson, NextFlex Executive Director. “Project Call 5.0 will break
new ground across many application areas, providing the catalyst needed
to drive flexible hybrid electronics toward commercialization and
showcasing NextFlex’s focus on advancing National Defense priorities by
co-investing in projects identified by DoD Agencies.”
Project proposals should tackle these industry-driven problems and offer
solutions that include a plan for transitioning projects to the U.S.
industrial manufacturing base, and should focus on manufacturing
challenges in these areas:
- Demonstration of Inkjet Printing as a Path to Digital Manufacturing
- DataCubes for the FHE Material and Process Database
- Flexible Hybrid Electronics Process Design Kit 2.0
Structural Health Monitoring: Scalable Manufacturing of Embedded
Trusted Flexible Hybrid Electronics, Anti-Counterfeiting, and Data
- Evaluation and Testing of Flexible Batteries
- Additively Manufactured High Temperature Electronics for Hypersonics
To demonstrate and develop applications of priority for National Defense
and advance the manufacturability of the resulting solutions, these
topics have co-investment or follow-up funding interest from DoD
- Temperature and Humidity Sensing in Extreme Environments
- Conformal Antennas for Telemetry
- Flexible Interconnects for Large Deployable X-Band Phased Arrays
More information on NextFlex’s PC 5.0, including proposal submission
instructions, can be found here.
Parties interested in submitting a proposal are strongly encouraged to attend
the public PC 5.0 Proposer’s Day on June 11 in Arlington, VA and/or to register
for the PC 5.0 Webinar to be held on June 19, 2019, at 11 a.m. PDT/2
p.m. EDT. The webinar will provide an overview of the Project Call and
will outline the timeline for acceptance of pre-proposals.
NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing
Institute, is a leading force in the Manufacturing USA network of
Institutes. Formed 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. Since its formation in 2015, NextFlex’s elite team
of thought leaders, educators, problem solvers and manufacturers have
come together to collectively facilitate innovation, narrow the
manufacturing workforce gap and promote sustainable manufacturing
ecosystems. For more information, visit www.nextflex.us
and follow NextFlex on LinkedIn,
About Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE)
FHE gives everyday products the power of silicon ICs by combining them
with new and unique printing processes and new materials. The result:
lightweight, low-cost, flexible, conformable, stretchable and highly
efficient smart products with innumerable uses for consumer, commercial
and military applications.