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About NextFlex

Building the Next Big Thing In FHE

The formation of NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, has catalyzed the rapidly expanding field of Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE).

NextFlex is a consortium of companies, academic institutions, non-profits and state, local and federal government partners with the shared goal of advancing the manufacture of flexible hybrid electronics in the U.S. Since its formation in 2015, the NextFlex community of technologists, educators, problem solvers and manufacturers have come together to collectively facilitate innovation, narrow the manufacturing workforce gap and promote sustainable manufacturing ecosystems. NextFlex is one of eight Manufacturing Innovation Institutes established by the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program as public-private partnerships and is funded through the AFRL Cooperative Agreement FA8650-20-2-5506.

If you have questions about our membership system, the use of our fabrication facility, our Project Calls, or something else, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.

NextFlex’s pilot-scale manufacturing line, the Technology Hub, is compliant with both ITAR and FDA manufacturing standards. NextFlex’s Quality System adheres to the intent of the ITAR standards for the export of defense-related articles, services and technology on the U.S. Munitions List (USML). All defense device products and components produced at the NextFlex facility are manufactured consistently to meet these requirements, which include standards for military electronics, materials, guidance equipment and related items. Also, Nextflex’s Quality System adheres to the intent of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) regulations for good manufacturing practices. All medical device products and components produced at the NextFlex facility are manufactured consistently to meet Quality System Regulations (QSR) requirements.

Meet the NextFlex Leadership Team

Malcolm Thompson, Ph.D.

Executive Director


Dr. Thompson brings over 30 years of executive experience in the display, semiconductor, and telecom industries to his current role as Executive Director of NextFlex. He served as the Founder and Chairman of the US Display Consortium and was CTO at Xerox PARC. Dr. Thompson was also CEO of four startups during his career, raising over $300M: dpiX, makers of digital x-ray imaging systems; Novalux, providers of high power vertical cavity lasers; Vitex, makers of encapsulants for OLEDs; and RPO, manufacturers of touch systems for mobile products. Recent advisory roles include advisor to the National Academy of Sciences for flexible electronics, the Pentagon, and White House Economic Advisory Council; he was also appointed Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum in 2000 and 2001. Dr. Thompson received a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Brighton.

Giorgio Bazzan, Ph.D.

Government CTO


Giorgio Bazzan is a Program Manager in the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Division. Dr. Bazzan is the lead of the Division efforts in Biomanufacturing and manage various programs for the Defense Production Act – Title III. He also serves as Government Chief Technology Officer for NextFlex, a $170M public-private partnership established to create a domestic manufacturing ecosystem in flexible hybrid electronics.

Before joining AFRL, he worked for UES Inc. in various roles (Research Scientist, Program Manager and Deputy Division Director). Research areas included additive manufacturing techniques (inkjet, aerosol jet and direct-ink writing) applied to organic and flexible electronics. He also wrote several successful proposals and managed several government contracts. Dr. Bazzan received his Ph.D. in Chemistry (Nanotechnology & Materials Chemistry program) from the City University of New York and his MS in Chemistry from Padua University (Italy).

Eric Forsythe, Ph.D.

Government Program Manager


Eric W. Forsythe is a staff physicist at the Army Research Laboratory. Dr Forsythe is the Team Leader for Display Technologies and is an Associate Program Manager for the Army’s Flexible Display Center. Prior to joining the Army Research Laboratory, he was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Rochester, in both the Physics Department and the Chemistry Department, where he worked on electronic interfaces and carrier transport in organic light emitting devices in collaboration with the Eastman Kodak Company. Dr. Forsythe received his Ph.D. in Physics from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ in 1996, where he studied Si nanocrystalline based light emitting devices. Currently, Dr. Forsythe’s research activities include, organic based light emitting device for flexible displays, organic based thin film transistors and organic based photovoltaics. He has authored/coauthored more than 45 papers and has given more than 20 invited talks and seminars.

Ed Hendricks

Director of Business Development


Ed has over 20 years of experience in Business Development and managing P&L’s in emerging and diverse markets and technologies for the EMS market. Ed served in a variety of business management positions at Jabil, supporting diverse markets such as distributed energy, solar, water treatment, networking-telecom, data storage, medical electronics, and emerging technologies in advanced interconnect and aerospace. Prior to Jabil, Ed served 10 years in the United States Army in various leadership positions in Military Intelligence, specializing in Counter-Espionage. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Human Factors Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Michael Kaplan

Director of Operations


Michael Kaplan, NextFlex’s Director of Operations,  brings the Institute 30 years of experience in Business Operations and Finance.  Michael’s broad financial knowledge and deep analytical skills, combined with practical business management experience across a number of industries, give him a unique perspective on a wide range of operational challenges that dynamic organizations face.

Michael started his career on Wall Street in investment banking and management consulting before taking on the world of Silicon Valley tech startups.  He previously served as the CFO of companies such as think3, OnVantage, Eolytix, and Teknowledge, and has worked in the fields of B2B SAAS, AI, Nanotechnology, and IoT.  Developing government contract accounting systems to manage DoD and NIST projects gave Michael a deep knowledge of CAS and FAR.   In addition to his corporate leadership roles, Michael has also served on the advisory boards of numerous technology startups.

Michael holds a BA in English and Economics from Cornell University, an MBA in Finance and Real Estate from the Columbia Business School, and a Diploma from the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie in Paris.

Emily McGrath

Director of Workforce Development


Emily has a diverse background that includes experience across government, industry, and education. Prior to working at NextFlex, Emily served as the Executive Director of a workforce development non-profit for Veterans focused on helping Transitioning Service Members translate specialized training in military technologies to skills needed by the private sector. Emily also worked as a GIS Analyst for the Department of Energy; managed policy campaigns for the Environmental Defense Fund; co-founded and launched an ecotourism-based start up with a small community of Civil War Veterans in El Salvador; and created education and training courses for rural communities in the Brazilian Amazon. Emily serves as Director of the Board for a Bay-Area skincare company called Samudra Skin & Sea and is a youth group mentor for a local high school. She attended Colgate University and Portland State University, where she holds degrees in Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Scott Miller, Ph.D.

Director of Technology


As the Director of Technology, Scott is responsible for overseeing US government projects, building relationships with DARPA and the National Science Foundation and building and managing critical relationships with the medical, avionics and pharmaceutical industries. Most recently, he was the manager of GE Global Research’s Material System Lab where he led a multidisciplinary team developing and delivering material technologies and processes for GE products and services. Prior, he led GE’s Nanostructures & Surfaces Lab where he oversaw a multidisciplinary team of researchers in the field of nano-enabled materials, serving GE’s Healthcare, Aviation, Power, and Oil & Gas Businesses. Scott holds eight patents, was the Founding Board Chair of the Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC), and is a member of the American Chemical Society. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware.

Erica Roman

General Counsel


Erica Roman, NextFlex’s General Counsel, brings over 20 years of experience to this role. Her practice has spanned a variety of environments, from law firms to the U.S. Government, from litigation to transactional law. Her experience is firmly rooted in technology, having practiced with large and boutique law firms in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, including being a member of the Intellectual Property and Technology Licensing Group at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now DLA Piper).

Ms. Roman suspended her private practice for several years when she was selected to serve in the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, D.C. Her duties included addressing multi-agency intellectual property policy matters and amicus curiaebrief positions on behalf of the U.S. Government, in addition to preparing Congressional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.

Ms. Roman has deep experience with counseling non-profit technology consortia and other trade groups. She was a member of the original proposal team to secure NextFlex’s funding via its Cooperative Agreement, and has remained a legal advisor to NextFlex since its inception. Ms. Roman was named NextFlex’s General Counsel in November, 2018.

Ms. Roman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Yale University and a Juris Doctorate from University of California, Hastings. Ms. Roman is admitted to practice in California as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Karen Savala

Director of Marketing


Karen Savala is responsible for all aspects of marketing at NextFlex, including strategy, brand management and marketing communications. Prior to joining NextFlex, Karen served as the President of the Americas for SEMI where she led a broad number of strategic industry initiatives involving professionals from across the globe. She also launched the association magazine and worked with technical committees developing semiconductor packaging standards. Karen holds a BS in Business Management from San Jose State University.

Janos Veres, Ph.D.

Director of Engineering


Janos is a technologist at heart, and he is passionate about the future of manufacturing and the new ecosystems enabled by digital technologies. Janos has held R&D, manufacturing and management positions in electronics, displays, specialty materials and printing companies including PARC, PolyPhotonix, Kodak, Merck, Avecia, Zeneca and Gestetner, where he developed printed circuits, functional materials, OLEDs, displays, medical devices as well as novel process technologies. He brings experience of industrial partnerships and joint development projects in the US, Europe and Asia. Janos holds a Ph.D. in Solid State Electronics from Imperial College, London. He is author of over 45 patents.

Art Wall, Ph.D.

Director of Fab Operations


As Director of Fab Operations for the NextFlex Technology Hub, Art oversees a range of process tools used in development and prototyping of flexible hybrid electronics development. The tools placed in the Hub are available both to members and for commercial use, and are used for printing, assembly and integration, and test and measurement. Prior to joining NextFlex, Art led many different groups and technologies associated with hard drive products for both IBM and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. Most recently Art co-founded and served as vice president at NuvoSun, an innovative photovoltaic company that was later acquired by The Dow Chemical Company. Art earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Minnesota. Art has co-authored more than 30 articles in refereed journals, presented at 16 US and International Conferences, and holds six US patents.

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.

NextFlex Member ACI Materials
NextFlex Corporate Observer-Level Member ALine
NextFlex Honorary Member Blach
NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member Carpe Diem Technologies
NextFlex Equipment Affiliate ConnecTec
NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member Imprint Energy
NextFlex Tier 2 Member SRG Global
NextFlex Member - University of Colorado Boulder Logo
NextFlex Academic Tier 3 Member University of Delaware
NextFlex Member Vivonics
NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member WL Gore
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