Market Overview

NextFlex Launches $10 Million Funding Round for Flexible Hybrid Electronics Innovations in Aviation, Digital Health and National Security


Winning projects will include innovations in FHE devices
processing, e-textiles,
3D electrical design and power
source integration

NextFlex®, America's Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE)
Manufacturing Institute, today released Project Call 4.0 (PC 4.0) — the
latest call for proposals to fund projects that seek to further the
development and adoption of FHE. Response to the first three project
calls was staggering, with 178 initial proposals received resulting in
over $59M in investment. The total project value is expected to exceed
$10 million for PC 4.0. (Project value/investment figures include

Project Call 4.0's very diverse scope of needs represents technology and
capability gaps that have been determined by the community over a wide
range of application areas — from digital health to commercial aviation
to national security needs. These areas cover the spectrum from
encapsulation technologies for wearables, high performance and high
layer count FHE, to 3-dimensional electronic design software, solutions
for challenges in e-textiles, biochemical monitoring platforms and
lightweight electronics for drones and UAVs.

"NextFlex's Project Call process has proven to be extremely successful,"
said Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson, executive director of NextFlex. "We
continuously tackle member-identified FHE manufacturing challenges, and
with 31 projects already underway from three previous project calls, we
expect this to garner even more interest from the FHE community. Topics
in Project Call 4.0 build upon successful developments and learning from
our previous project calls."

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. The project proposals should focus on the
following manufacturing thrust areas (MTA):

  • FHE device encapsulation
  • High layer count FHE processing with IC interface demonstration
  • Evaluation and development of connectors for FHE devices and e-textiles
  • Development of a carrier system appropriate for sheet-to-sheet FHE
  • Advanced 3D electrical design software
  • Flexible battery integration and reference designs

To demonstrate these manufacturing capabilities, project proposals can
focus on the following:

  • Lightweight flexible electronics platform for UAVs and drones
  • Large-area sensor systems for structural health monitoring
  • Minimally invasive wearable flexible devices for monitoring of
    fluid-based biomarkers

More information on NextFlex's PC 4.0, including proposal submission
instructions, can be found here.
Parties interested in submitting a proposal are strongly encouraged to register
for the NextFlex PC 4.0 Webinar, to be held on Tuesday, August 7, 2018,
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

About NextFlex

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
and follow NextFlex on LinkedIn,
and Twitter.

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.

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