Press release

NextFlex Launches $14 Million Funding Round for Flexible Hybrid Electronics Innovations to Address Manufacturing Challenges and Improve Reliability

Sponsored by Businesswire

NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, today released Project Call 6.0 (PC 6.0). The latest call for proposals seeks to fund projects that further the development and adoption of FHE while addressing key challenges in advanced manufacturing. The total PC 6.0 project value is expected to exceed $14.3M (project value/investment figures include cost-sharing), bringing the total anticipated investment in advancing FHE since NextFlex’s formation to $113M.

Building off the success and maturity of past Project Calls, PC 6.0 is designed to be more open to a broader base of proposers while still focused on resolving advanced manufacturing challenges and closing the technical gaps in the FHE roadmap to commercialization. As FHE matures, an increasing emphasis is needed on highly reliable solutions. To address this requirement, PC 6.0 includes a focus on improving the reliability of FHE devices to enable further adoption into various vertical markets, such as automotive and defense.

“Our Project Call funding process has always allowed us to overcome critical manufacturing issues collaboratively, but this round, especially, will allow us to widen the field to find even more brilliant problem-solvers,” said Malcolm J. Thompson, NextFlex Executive Director. “Project Call 6.0’s increased focus on reliability will allow us to more quickly achieve the commercialization of FHE devices in a variety of industries while meeting the DoD’s modernization priorities in the defense space.”

Project proposals should include a plan for transitioning projects to the U.S. industrial manufacturing base while focusing on manufacturing challenges in these topic areas:

  • High Performance and Multi-Layer FHE Devices
  • Improving the Reliability of FHE Devices
  • FHE Demonstrators for Monitoring Systems
  • Advanced FHE Materials Demonstrator
  • Closed-Loop Process Monitoring for Printed Component Manufacturing
  • Advanced FHE Modeling and Design Tools
  • System Development of RF/Microwave FHE Technology
  • Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) for Highly Integrated and Compact Interconnects for RF Systems
  • Conformal / Flexible FHE-based Active mm-Wave Phased Array Apertures

More information on NextFlex’s PC 6.0, including proposal submission instructions and to register for a Proposer’s Day webinar on February 17, can be found here. Proposals are due April 6, 2021.

About NextFlex

NextFlex is a DoD sponsored Manufacturing Innovation Institute funded by Air Force Research Laboratory Cooperative Agreement numbers FA8650-15-2-5402 and FA8650-20-2-5506. NextFlex is a consortium of companies, academic institutions, non-profits and state, local and federal governments with a shared goal of advancing U.S. manufacturing of FHE. Since its formation in 2015, NextFlex’s elite team of thought leaders, educators, problem solvers and manufacturers have come together to collectively facilitate innovation, narrow the manufacturing workforce gap and promote sustainable manufacturing ecosystems. For more information, visit and follow NextFlex on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

About Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE)

FHE gives everyday products the power of silicon ICs by combining them with new and unique printing processes and new materials. The result: lightweight, low-cost, flexible, conformable, stretchable and highly efficient smart products with innumerable uses for consumer, commercial and military applications.