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NextFlex News – January 2021 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends,

We have a lot to be grateful for as 2021 gets underway, having forged ahead in collaboration with members across the nation, all of whom have made great strides during a very difficult time. Our mission is to advance the manufacturability of flexible hybrid electronics and, together, we’re having a tremendous impact as evidenced by progress in project work, the number of students having experienced our workforce development programs, and the learning that the community has accomplished along the way. We continue to actively support members and government partners, and, as we are deemed an essential business supporting the defense industrial base, we continue to support agency project work in the fab.

NextFlex and its members are revolutionizing electronics by taking them out of the box and creating thin, lightweight, low-cost flexible versions of devices and systems in both commercial and defense applications. To share our progress, mark your calendars for a virtual round of Member Meetings March 31 – April 1 where we will provide technical updates on NextFlex, the membership, funded project milestones and results, and our vision for how FHE is transforming how people can work, live and play.

Before that, though, in early February we’ll be announcing a new Project Call, PC 6.0, which will advance work begun in previous project calls by building on those foundational successes. Similarly, as in previous project calls, we’ll hold an informational webinar designed to share project topics and facilitate teaming to help those interested in submitting a proposal to connect with other potential team members. Organizations do not need to be a member of NextFlex to submit a proposal, but, if awarded, membership is required.

Finally, NextFlex will actively participate in the virtual Flex Conference February 22-26 by presenting on the following topics:

  • Alex Cook, Engineering Manager, Process Technologies, “How to Make Wearables Bearable”
  • Sean Nachnani, Hardware Systems Engineer, “FHE Design: Reducing Time to Market”
  • Benjamin Plattner, Engineering Manager, Robotics & Automation, “Using Robot-based Systems in Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing“

All these talks will be available on-demand so please find them on the Conference Portal. We look forward to your feedback and will be available to connect with you during the conference. Additionally, we’ll have a new video to share, and Dr. Ben Leever of AFRL and Dr. Scott Miller, Director of Technology at NextFlex, will co-chair the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Systems session.

While there’s a lot to look forward to, we want to remind you that we’re here to help. The pandemic has created stressors for all of us, both at work and at home. We’ve learned that even though things don’t work out the way you expected them to, in many cases the outcomes are surprisingly better than what you originally expected. This has been the most astonishing outcome, and I continue to be surprised.

Keep the good ideas coming and stay well,

Malcolm J. Thompson, Ph.D.
Executive Director

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