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Massachusetts Invests in FHE Manufacturing

By Scott Miller, NextFlex Director of Strategic Programs

Massachusetts has been a strong partner of NextFlex and an investor in flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) since the establishment of the Institute. The Commonwealth has again demonstrated its support with the announcement of a $500,000 Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2) grant for equipment that will not only enhance capabilities at UMass Amherst, but will also support work related to the NextFlex Project Call 2.0 (PC2.0) project for ultra-thin die assembly prototyping, which is led by Uniqarta and partners UMass Amherst, Jabil, North Dakota State University, and with devices manufactured by ON Semiconductor. This state grant will fund the purchase of an ADT Dicing Saw and an Allied Wafer Polishing and Thinning System for installation at the Advanced Print and Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at UMass Amherst, as well as provide support for a technical staff position at the facility to operate the equipment and collaborate with project partners.

The award was announced at an event on Manufacturing Day on October 6 at UMass Amherst. Speaking at the event Governor Charlie Baker and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash emphasized the importance of high tech manufacturing to the Commonwealth’s economy and the role that investments like these have in ensuring competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. The award was part of a package of grants totaling nearly $7 million in state funds.

The abstract for the PC2.0 Uniqarta project “Prototype Process for FHE Ultra-thin Die Assembly” can be viewed on the PC2.0 web page. NextFlex members may access additional information via the NextFlex Member Portal. Additional information about the grant is available at M2I2.

L-R: UMass Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy, UMass Amherst Professor Jim Watkins, and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker