SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Innovation Institute, today announced $6.49M in funding (including $3.29M in cost-share contribution from participants) for seven new projects as part of its Project Call 8.0 to further promote FHE development and adoption throughout the U.S. advanced manufacturing sector.
The awarded projects represent a diverse and innovative set of companies and universities that are collaboratively focused on maturing the industry’s capabilities while leveraging the strong foundation established in prior Project Calls. Project Call 8.0 emphasizes projects that address critical hybrid electronics manufacturing challenges, enabling the transition of FHE devices into applications that require superior performance and assured reliability. Several projects selected address critical needs in domestic advanced semiconductor packaging capabilities, which directly aligns with technical areas of interest outlined in the CHIPS Program.
Project Call 8.0 also focuses on using hybrid electronics manufacturing processes and materials to improve environmental sustainability in electronics manufacturing. This will include maturation of processes using biodegradable and recyclable substrates, low temperature cure water-based inks, and electronics recycled / reworked for reduced E-waste production.
This latest round of funding brings the total amount invested in FHE developments to more than $134M, including cost-share contributions from Project Call participants.
“This round of projects will build on our work in previous Project Calls as we continue to push U.S.-based hybrid electronics manufacturing forward in key areas,” said Scott M. Miller, PhD, NextFlex Director of Technology. “These projects address important needs and opportunities in environmentally sustainable electronics manufacturing, additive electronics packaging, and advancing the manufacturing readiness level of critical processes.”
Project Call 8.0’s funding awards will go to:
- Lockheed Martin and Binghamton University for advancing high resolution copper printing for RF antenna and multi-layer balun structures.
- Two projects led by The Boeing Company for maturing additive die packaging for cryogenic and high temperature operations and develop sustainable additive printing and production of hybrid integrated receiver electronics & sensors.
- GE Research and Binghamton University for developing and demonstrating the reliability of additively packaged microelectromechanical systems inertia measurements units for harsh environments.
- Auburn University for leading two projects focused on further maturing and demonstrating in-mold flexible electronics reliability for harsh automotive applications and biodegradable substrates, low-temperature cure water-based inks, room temperature interconnects, and rework for sustainable electronics.
- Iowa State University for validation and technology maturation of real-time process monitoring and control for aerosol jet printed electronics.
For more information about NextFlex and the Project Call program, please visit https://www.nextflex.us/project-call/.
NextFlex is a DoD sponsored Manufacturing Innovation Institute funded by Air Force Research Laboratory Cooperative Agreement numbers FA8650-15-2-5401 and FA8650-20-2-5506. 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 convenes thought leaders, educators, problem solvers and manufacturers 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, Facebook, and X (formerly Twitter).
About Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE)
FHE gives everyday products the power of silicon ICs by combining them with new and unique low-cost and environmentally friendly additive printing processes and new materials. The result is fast time to market, lightweight, low-cost, and highly efficient smart products that can be flexible, conformable, and stretchable with innumerable uses for consumer, commercial and military applications. Hybrid electronics are providing PCB and heterogeneous packaging manufacturers with novel additive electronics manufacturing solutions.