Skip to main content

Pioneers of Flexible Hybrid Electronics Converge at NextFlex Innovation Day to Showcase Latest Advances That Will Transform Our Everyday Lives

NextFlex will once again open the doors to its manufacturing facility in San Jose for its second annual Innovation Day on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. Since its inception in 2015 – when the U.S. Dept. of Defense announced a $75-million award to advance the country’s manufacturing ecosystem and workforce for flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) – NextFlex has issued three project calls aimed at bringing FHE solutions to market for a staggering $45 million (including cost-share). This week, NextFlex brings together more than 50 companies, government agencies and universities to demonstrate the technology advances these investments have yielded, as well as other efforts underway in the burgeoning FHE industry.

FHE promises to transform powerful, yet traditionally bulky, electronics into formats that bend, stretch, fold, and conform to the contours of our world, from human bodies to vehicles, buildings, and many other objects. The next generation of electronics will produce smarter and lighter consumer wearables; health monitoring devices, including intelligent patches and bandages for medical treatments; structural monitoring to protect and optimize buildings, vehicles, bridges, and more; and “soft” robotics, including advanced flexible electronics for prosthetics that can assist, restore, or enhance physical capabilities.

As NextFlex Executive Director Malcolm Thompson noted, no other event can provide such a compelling look at the future of FHE. “Consumer and military applications for FHE devices abound – in turn, providing significant economic and job growth opportunities for U.S. companies, starting with increased demand for materials to produce key FHE components, such as sensors, interconnect, and ICs, and flexible batteries,” said Dr. Thompson. “Early adopters of these technologies will be the medical and healthcare communities, as well as such mainstay industries as automotive, aerospace, retail and packaging. FHE devices will also likely impact disruptive technologies including wearable electronics and the IoT. NextFlex is facilitating collaboration, innovation and transformation, illustrated by this unparalleled gathering of companies, academic and nonprofit institutions, and government agencies – all of whom are focused on the single goal of creating a robust FHE manufacturing infrastructure, right here in the U.S.”

The event will feature some of the latest FHE technology currently being developed for commercial (health/wellness, food, sports, agriculture, wearables, aerospace, automotive, etc.) and military applications. Members of the media will also meet and network with key influencers in the FHE manufacturing supply chain, as well as interact with NextFlex government agency partners and dignitaries. More than 50 FHE pioneers will be on hand to demonstrate FHE-enabled products and capabilities. Highlights include: