The award is for $75 million in federal funding over a five-year period and is being matched by more than $96 million in cost sharing from non-federal sources, including the city of San Jose, private companies, universities, several U.S. state and not-for-profit organizations.
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.
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 organizations. This broad-based support underscores the market potential for flexible hybrid electronics, and reaffirms Silicon Valley’s role as a hub for innovation.
The Institute’s activities will benefit a wide array of markets beyond defense, 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.
Additionally, education and training in FHE manufacturing will be emphasized 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.
“FlexTech is privileged to accept this award from the Defense Department to stand up and lead the FHE MII,” said Michael Ciesinski, president and CEO of FlexTech Alliance.
“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,” said Dr. Malcolm Thompson, executive director-designate of the Institute.