Latest Project Call Gets “Under the Hood,” Focusing on Subsystem Development and Manufacturing Processes/Solutions that Bridge Capability Gaps
San Jose, Calif. — NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, has released Project Call 3.0 (PC 3.0)—the latest call for proposals to fund projects that seek to further the development and adoption of FHE. Response to the first two project calls was staggering, and the projects selected attracted total investment of more than $45 million. For PC 3.0, the total project value is expected to exceed $14 million. (Project value/investment figures include cost-sharing.)
“Our Project Call process has grown increasingly more focused, with developments from each project call helping shape the next,” said Malcolm Thompson, executive director for NextFlex. “PC 1.0 focused on applications in the two largest markets for FHE – human monitoring and asset monitoring. PC 2.0 benefited from our FHE Roadmap, yielding several equipment development efforts aimed at creating FHE production tools. It’s hugely gratifying to see this process continue to evolve, as each new Project Call builds on the others to put us ever closer to achieving a sustainable manufacturing infrastructure and commercial market for FHE-based products.”
Shifting the focus to subsystem development and manufacturing process/capability gaps, PC 3.0 has two key goals: a) develop FHE system components that subsequent projects can use to quickly develop project concepts and FHE demonstrators; and b) develop and share methods to address key gaps in the manufacturing process. In addition, data collected from these efforts will aid in creating the process design kit  essential for FHE system design and modeling.
Project proposals should tackle industry-driven problems and put forth solutions that include a plan for transitioning projects to the U.S. industrial manufacturing base.
More information on NextFlex’s PC 3.0, including proposal submission instructions, can be found on the PC 3.0 web page. Parties interested in submitting a proposal are strongly encouraged to register for the NextFlex PC 3.0 Webinar, to be held on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT. The webinar will provide an overview and explanation of the Project Call, and will include an opportunity for attendees to participate in a Q&A session. Moreover, those considering a proposal submission are invited to attend the PC 3.0 Proposers Networking session on June 22 at 4:45 p.m. PDT. Co-located with the 2017FLEX conference, the venue for the session will be the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Monterey, Calif.
 Process design kit (PDK) = a set of files used in the semiconductor industry to model a fabrication process for EDA tools used to design integrated circuits.
About Flexible Hybrid Electronics
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.
NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute, is a leading force in the Manufacturing USA network. Formed through a cooperative agreement between the US 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, follow NextFlex on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.