NextFlex® Launches $4.4 Million Funding Opportunity to Strengthen U.S. Electronics Manufacturing and Advance Adoption of Hybrid Electronics

NextFlex, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, today released Project Call 8.0 (PC 8.0), 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 that support Department of Defense priorities. The total PC 8.0 project value is expected to exceed $9.4M (project value/investment figures include cost-sharing), bringing the total anticipated investment in advancing FHE since NextFlex’s formation to $134M.

Building from the success and maturity of past Project Calls, PC 8.0 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 applications in additive packaging, high performance interconnects, applications in harsh environments including space, and reducing environmental and climate impacts of electronics manufacturing with FHE approaches.

“This new funding opportunity carries the momentum from previous project calls to elevate the level of sophistication of FHE-enabled devices, extend hybrid electronic manufacturing process capability, and enhance environmental sustainability,” said Scott Miller, NextFlex Director of Technology. “As FHE technology’s potential has been more fully demonstrated, we are now able to focus on meeting the reliability, standardization, and advancing technology transition into the U.S. industrial manufacturing base.”

All project proposals for PC 8.0 should include elements to advance technology transitions while maintaining focusing on manufacturing challenges in these topic areas:

  • Additively Manufactured 3D Devices with Increased Complexity
  • High Performance FHE Interconnects
  • Harsh Environment Hybrid Electronic Components with Proven Reliability
  • Advancing the Manufacturability of FHE Processes Towards Standardization
  • Environmentally Sustainable FHE Manufacturing, Design Strategies, and Use-Cases
  • Open Topic for "New Project Leads"

In addition, NextFlex announces the release of its latest 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. 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. The public roadmaps can be accessed here.

More information on NextFlex’s PC 8.0, including proposal submission instructions and registration for the Proposer’s Day & Teaming webinar on March 28 can be found here. Proposals are due May 11.

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 flexible and additive hybrid electronics. 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 and Additive Hybrid Electronics

Hybrid Electronics are driving the next generation of electronics by providing PCB manufacturers and heterogenous packaging experts novel solutions such as the advanced additive hybrid electronic systems we are creating. Flexible and additive hybrid electronics 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.