2018 NextFlex Innovation Day Tops Expectations
The NextFlex team extends our sincere thanks to all who attended our third Innovation Day on August 9th. The day exceeded our wildest expectations, with more than 400 members, educators, government partners and supporters participating to see the latest and greatest in FHE-enabled applications, and to collaboratively reaffirm our community’s optimism about how these technologies will transform how people live, work and play. With the theme, “Partners in Progress – Accelerating Innovation,” we announced these results achieved in the past year: The Technology Hub is now fully operational; NextFlex awarded 7 new funded projects from Project Call 3.0, bringing the total to 31, and we launched Project Call 4.0; NextFlex itself was awarded 28 agency projects; the national expansion of FlexFactor began, and our 90th member joined the Institute. It’s been a year of progress, and we couldn’t have done it without the great help of members, government partners and stakeholders. We thank you all.
The crowd was inspired by presentations from educators, industry, and government, including Robert Gold, Director of the Engineering Enterprise, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Systems Engineering (DASD(SE)), who spoke about the important role of the Institutes. Dr. Nelson Pedreiro of Lockheed Martin spoke with optimism about the future of flexible hybrid electronics and opportunities to have a real impact on people’s lives. The talks concluded with a rousing presentation by Tracy “JackieO” LaTourette, one of the first female Air Force fighter pilots who applies lessons learned in military training to business processes with plenty of real-world examples from her active duty experience. JackieO urged the audience to keep going and stay together because the work that the NextFlex community is doing will truly change the world.
Fifty-seven FHE-enabled technology displays wowed attendees in areas of printed conformal antennas on drones, soft robotic exoskeletons, e-tattoos, microfluidic and self-oxygenating bandages, flexible e-materials, and more. Local TV news coverage highlighted the technology and included interviews with Robert Gold and Jason Marsh, NextFlex director of technology. Rick Merritt’s article in EE Times, 12 Views from the NextFlex Open House featured several member demonstrators including GE, American Semiconductor, Boeing, AFRL, Jabil, FLEX and more. Altogether, Innovation Day was covered in 11 articles with a total of over 77M impressions. We’ve compiled a video about Innovation Day that I think you’ll enjoy.
Thanks again, one and all, it was a day to remember.
Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson
Executive Director, NextFlex