The Department of Defense is awarding $75 million for manufacturing of hybrid electronics to a consortium consisting of more than 160 firms, universities and nonprofits. The funding will be provided over the course of five years, and will be coupled with more than $90 million from industry, local governments and academia.
Pentagon is looking to support the “flexible hybrid electronics” manufacturing which is defined by the National Nanotechnology Initiative as a means of production that “preserves the full operation of traditional electronic devices on flexible, stretchable and conformal circuit boards.” The Air Force Research Laboratory will manage the award.
Flexible hybrid electronics have dual-use applications in both the consumer economy and the development of military solutions for the war fighter. The technology has the potential in wearable and health monitoring devices, and could be used to develop next generation of health tracking devices, among other things.
The winning consortium is led by FlexTech Alliance, an organization that counts thin-film producers and universities as members. The alliance will use the funds to establish the Manufacturing Innovation Institute, one of several funded by the Obama administration. These institutes are intended as hubs where manufacturers can scale up new technologies.