NextFlex® Launches $11.5 Million Funding Round for Flexible Hybrid Electronics Innovations to Address Manufacturing Challenges and Expand Technology Adoption

NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, today released Project Call 7.0 (PC 7.0), the latest call for proposals that seek to fund projects that further the development and adoption of FHE while addressing key challenges in advanced manufacturing while supporting Department of Defense priorities. The total PC 7.0 project value is expected to exceed $11.5M (project value/investment figures include cost-sharing), bringing the total anticipated investment in advancing FHE since NextFlex’s formation to $128M.

Building from the success and maturity of past Project Calls, PC 7.0 continues the use of broadly defined topics to enable a diverse proposer base, with special emphasis on areas in which FHE can impact high priority U.S. manufacturing opportunities and areas of emerging importance within the FHE community. Areas of emphasis include FHE enabled manufacturing for automotive applications, additive approaches to FHE device fabrication, applying hybrid electronic manufacturing to applications in advanced packaging, and exploring how FHE manufacturing can support improved environmental sustainability in electronics manufacturing.

“We are delighted to announce this new round of funding for advanced manufacturing developments in the US,” said Malcolm Thompson, PhD, Executive Director of NextFlex. “The benefits of FHE – additively manufactured electronic systems that are lightweight, thin, and conformable, are transforming our perceptions of how ubiquitous electronics can truly be. With each successive project call, the NextFlex member community moves the technology closer to commercialization and wide adoption.”

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:

  • Manufacturing of FHE-Enabled Automotive Components
  • Advanced Packaging Approaches for IC Integration in FHE Devices
  • Additively Manufactured Electronic Components and Devices
  • Improved Environmental Sustainability of Electronics with FHE Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing of Soft and Stretchable Electronics
  • Enhanced Dielectric Materials & Manufacturing Methods for FHE Devices
  • Wearable Human Monitoring / Interface Demonstrator
  • Open Topic for “New Project Leads”

In addition, NextFlex announces the release of its FHE Technology Roadmaps. Developed by subject matter experts from industry, academia and government, the NextFlex Technical Working Groups in 11 technical areas of emphasis – Automotive; Device Integration & Packaging; Materials; Modeling & Design; Printed Components & Microfluidics; Standards, Test & Reliability; Asset Monitoring Systems; Flexible Power; Human Monitoring Systems; Integrated Antenna Arrays; and Soft Wearable Robotics – update the roadmaps each year. This is the first time, however, that a public version of the roadmaps is being made available. The roadmaps contain detailed information on the current state of the art, market opportunities and needs, key stakeholders, a five-year forward-looking development roadmap, and prioritized technical gaps identified by each Technical Working Group. These roadmaps inform the priorities for NextFlex Project Calls.

More information on NextFlex’s PC 7.0, including proposal submission instructions and registration for the Proposer’s Day & Teaming webinar on March 1, can be found here.

Proposals are due April 14, 2022.

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)

Hybrid Electronics are driving the next generation of electronics by providing PCB manufacturers and heterogeneous packaging experts novel solutions such as the advanced additive hybrid electronic systems we are creating. FHE gives everyday products the power of silicon ICs by combining them with new and unique low-cost and environmentally friendly additive printing processes and new materials. The result is fast time to market, lightweight, low-cost, and highly efficient smart products that can be flexible, conformable, and stretchable with innumerable uses for consumer, commercial and military applications.