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NextFlex News – October 2018 Newsletter

Demonstrating Advanced Manufacturing in the U.S. Capital

By Malcolm Thompson

On October 10th the U.S. House and Senate Manufacturing Caucus hosted a Congressional Briefing and Expo in the Rayburn Building entitled, Manufacturing USA®: Securing U.S. Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing. The event highlighted results achieved to date by the 14 Manufacturing USA institutes in technology innovation and advanced manufacturing workforce development through two informative panel discussions followed by a mixer and a showcase of technology demonstrator displays. NextFlex was pleased to host member participation from GE Global Research, Boeing and DuPont each of whom helped us describe our transformative applications for flexible hybrid electronics to the audience of elected officials and Congressional staffers.

NextFlex Congressional Briefing 1

During the first panel moderated by Mike Molnar from the Manufacturing USA Program Office, leaders from three industrial sectors — high power electronics, machine tools, and healthcare — described how the institutes create research collaborations that enable companies and partners to produce innovative products in the U.S.

John Palmour, CTO and founder of CREE, said that they joined PowerAmerica (wide bandgap semiconductors) because the institute helps de-risk technology innovation in ways that companies can’t support on their own because true market viability is years away.

GE Global Research’s David Davenport presented on the partnership with NextFlex (flexible hybrid electronics) that improves patient care by creating comfortable, wearable medical devices for continuous patient monitoring. He described how NextFlex enables collaborative development of this technology which promises to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs by allowing patients’ health to be monitored from home rather than in the hospital.

Gary Neidig, President and CEO of Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO), concluded the panel with the story of how his family-run tool and die company became an advanced manufacturing company by leveraging relationships through Manufacturing USA that enabled them to connect and collaborate with other U.S. manufacturers.

The second panel moderated by Emily DeRocco of LIFT, featured various Institute approaches to workforce development programs that train and retrain existing workers and military veterans, as well as educate and train students to equip them with the skills needed for high-paying jobs in the modern manufacturing sector. Speakers Eric Burkland of the Ohio Manufacturers Association, Linda Cadwell-Stancin of Lockheed Martin, and Michael Moncada of 3D Veterans all shared a common vision that it is critical that we, as a nation, invest in solving the skilled worker shortage problem that faces many U.S. companies today. Bringing together economic development, workforce, government, industry, and academia to help solve the problem is a perfect role for the institutes and already great strides have been made in education and training touchpoints across all 14 Manufacturing USA institutes. These touchpoints are helping to orient students and workers to the education and career pathways available to them to be prepared for jobs in tomorrow’s advanced manufacturing sector.

After the briefings, close to 250 people gathered in the Rayburn Foyer to see some of the technology being developed by Manufacturing USA institutes and their partners. Highlights include:

NextFlex Congressional Briefing 1

Over 250 people attended an ASME-sponsored Congressional Briefing and Expo showcasing work done by Manufacturing USA® in technology innovation and advanced manufacturing workforce development. Attendees included Congressional staff, member companies from the 14 Manufacturing USA institutes, institute representatives, and technology demonstrators.

To learn more about how Manufacturing USA institutes and their respective member companies are transforming people’s lives, improving economic and national security, and securing America’s future, visit


Dr. Malcolm J. Thompson
NextFlex Executive Director