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About NextFlex

Building the Next Big Thing In Flexible Hybrid Electronics

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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 American electronics companies, academic institutions, non-profits, state, local and federal government partners with the shared goal of advancing U.S. manufacturing of printed flexible electronics. Since its formation in 2015, the NextFlex community of technologists, educators, problem solvers and manufacturers have come together to collectively facilitate FHE innovation, narrow the advanced manufacturing workforce gap and promote sustainable electronics manufacturing ecosystems.

NextFlex is one of nine Manufacturing Innovation Institutes established by the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program as public-private partnerships. NextFlex was launched under AFRL Cooperative Agreement FA8650-15-2-5401 and continues to be financially supported through AFRL Cooperative Agreement FA8650-20-2-5506, membership dues, and various commercial, government, and educational offerings made available via the NextFlex Technology Hub.

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

NextFlex’s pilot-scale manufacturing line, the Technology Hub, is compliant with both International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) manufacturing standards for defense equipment and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) manufacturing standards for medical devices. 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 fabrication facility are manufactured consistently to meet these requirements, which include standards for military electronics, materials, guidance equipment and related items. In addition, NextFlex’s Quality System adheres to the intent of the FDA’s 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

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Malcolm Thompson, Ph.D.

Executive Director

NextFlex

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.

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Diane Baxter

Director of Finance

NextFlex

Diane Baxster, NextFlex’s Director of Finance, brings over 30 years of CFO experience in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Diane started her career with Ernst & Young before joining industry. She has worked in publicly traded companies as well as privately held startups in medical device, biotech, electronics, software, training and services companies. She was the CFO for the United Services Organization, Inc. (USO) and educational institutions. Diane is highly skilled in management of finance and accounting operations, including strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, financial organization, systems implementation, revenue recognition, inventory control, cost accounting, cash management and management of P&L. She is proficient in business development, customer relations, merger & acquisition negotiations, and turnaround situations. She is also experienced in contract negotiations & administration, managing banking relations including debt instruments and investment portfolio management. Diane has strong skills in human resources management setting policies & procedures, recruitment, training and supervision. She has managed corporate compliance and regulatory reporting – FAR, SEC, tax (domestic & int’l) affirmative action, retirement programs and risk analysis.

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Giorgio Bazzan, Ph.D.

Government CTO

NextFlex

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).

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Eric Forsythe, Ph.D.

Government Program Manager

NextFlex

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.

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Taylor Gallagher

Director of Human Resources

NextFlex

As the Director of Human Resources, Taylor is responsible for all HR functions including strategic programs and initiatives, company-wide communication and events, health and safety, legal compliance, recruitment and retention of a diverse and high-quality workforce, benefits administration, and employee morale and well-being.

Taylor has the unique experience of joining NextFlex in February 2016, only 6 months after its inception, making her the 12th employee in the company, supporting the varied needs of a burgeoning Executive Team. As the company grew, Taylor was able to devote her full attention to HR, drawing upon the people skills she had developed through her years in the hospitality and recreation industries. During NextFlex’s rapid expansion from 2019 to 2022, Taylor was instrumental in growing the NextFlex workforce by 57%.

Taylor earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration from San Jose State University, and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of California at Santa Cruz. She is currently an active member in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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Ed Hendricks

Director of Business Development

NextFlex

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.

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Michael Kaplan

Director of Operations

NextFlex

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.

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Emily McGrath

Director of Workforce Development

NextFlex

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).

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Scott Miller, Ph.D.

Director of Technology

NextFlex

As the Director of Technology, Scott is responsible for the portfolio of Project Calls funded by NextFlex, runs its Technical Council and Technical Working Groups, leads the development of FHE industry roadmapping, oversees initiatives within the Institute, builds and maintains relationships with government and industry partners, and is actively engaged with many o the Agency Driven Projects that NextFlex executes with partner organizations. Scott has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Delaware and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, where he did research on large area electronics manufacturing based on printing processes. Prior to joining NextFlex, Scott led materials R&D groups at GE Global Research supporting a diverse range of businesses. He has worked in areas including printed, flexible, and hybrid electronics; wearable devices; additive manufacturing; and bioprinting and biofabrication.

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Erica Roman

General Counsel

NextFlex

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.

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Karen Savala

Director of Marketing

NextFlex

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.

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Janos Veres, Ph.D.

Director of Engineering

NextFlex

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 50 patents.

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Art Wall, Ph.D.

Director of Fab Operations

NextFlex

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.

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NextFlex Member ACI Materials
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NextFlex Corporate Observer-Level Member ALine
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NextFlex Honorary Member Blach
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NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member Carpe Diem Technologies
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NextFlex Equipment Affiliate ConnecTec
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NextFlex Corporate Tier 3 Member Imprint Energy
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