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NextFlex News – September 2023

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

JDMC Reviewers and Government Advisors, pictured left to right are: Darrell Phillipson, Director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, AFRL; Giorgio Bazzan, Program Manager, Functional Systems Branch, ManTech Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, and NextFlex Government CTO; Dr. Vic Ramdass, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Materiel Readiness; Mark Gordon, ManTech Program Support, NextFlex LNO; Dr. Malcolm Thompson, Executive Director, NextFlex; Steve Luckowski, Government PM to MIIs; Brig. Gen. Trybula, Deputy Commanding General of DEVCOM, Senior Commander of Soldier Systems Center; Dr. Eric Forsythe, Essential Research Program Thrust Lead Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing, ARL, and NextFlex Government Program Manager; Jeff Singleton, Director for Technology and U.S. Representative to Board of Directors NATO DIANA; Dr. Brett Seidle, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development Test and Evaluation

Last month I shared that NextFlex was in the midst of a once-every-five-years JDMC evaluation, which is required for all DoD institutes. The purpose of the evaluation is to ensure technical coordination and alignment with the DoD priorities that guide our mission. The Joint Defense Manufacturing Council (JDMC) is a forum for senior leaders across the Department of Defense to ensure the alignment of resources, prioritize areas of joint challenge, and facilitate information sharing on advances and needs in manufacturing.

Ultimately, the JDMC sought evidence that NextFlex and its member community of industry, academic, and government partners are creating impact and that the public-private partnership model is functioning well at NextFlex. Over a day and a half, NextFlex and its members provided evidence to answer four critical questions:

NextFlex members and government partners provide evidence as to how NextFlex and the member community are creating value in the hybrid electronics manufacturing ecosystem. Pictured left to right are: Dr. Dan Gamota, VP Manufacturing and Innovation, Global Operations, Jabil; Doyle Edwards, Director, Government Programs, Brewer Science; Dr. Joseph Kunze, CTO & VP of Strategy, Antenna Research Associates (formerly SI2); Glenn Farris, VP, Corporate Strategy, Marketing, and Development, Universal Instruments; Dr. Pradeep Lall, MacFarlane Endowed Distinguished Professor and Alumni Professor, Auburn University; Dr. John Williams, Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company; Tom Rovere, Associate Fellow, Lockheed Martin; David Sabanosh, Senior Technical Lead, Printed Electronics, Energetics, Materials & Sensors (PEEMS) Center, US Army DEVCOM; Kevin Brower, Electrical Engineer, US Army DEVCOM C5ISR; Craig Herndon, Program Manager, DoD Executive Agent for PCBs, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division

  1. Is there a continuing need for NextFlex?
  2. Has NextFlex performed well?
  3. Does NextFlex have an effective strategy for the future?
  4. Is NextFlex’s governance and management effective?

Following an in-depth set of presentations on an overview of the industry and hybrid electronics technology, descriptions of the membership and the manufacturing ecosystem, education and workforce development, and a vision of the future, the JDMC and government advisors met behind closed doors to discuss what they heard and were given instructions on next steps.

JDMC reviewers participated in hybrid electronics technology demonstrations from funded project calls and government agency-directed projects.

The JDMC are currently preparing a full report on their findings, which will be provided to NextFlex in early October. Given that it took a full six months to prepare for this important review, we are more than ready to hear their thoughts on our collective progress and suggestions for improvement. I want to thank everyone who helped us prepare through inputs via surveys and those who attended in person to help us tell our story. Your dedication to the NextFlex mission is much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Malcolm J. Thompson, Ph.D.
NextFlex Executive Director