NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, today announced the formation of two Institute “Nodes” in New York and Massachusetts aimed to increase the volume, pace, and coordination of FHE development in their respective regions. The Nodes are designed to foster collaboration and benefit NextFlex members by providing access to facilities, equipment, and infrastructure to fast-track FHE design, development, and manufacturing adoption. They support the national NextFlex mission to facilitate FHE technology innovation, accelerate the development of the manufacturing workforce and promote sustainable advanced manufacturing ecosystems in the U.S. Each Node will have a representative seat on the NextFlex Governing Council.
“We are pleased to announce our first two regional Nodes that will support the NextFlex community by bringing a concentration of companies, universities, and economic development groups together to grow the community and support FHE development,” said Scott Miller, director of strategic programs at NextFlex. “Building upon existing capabilities, investments, and partnerships will immediately jump-start the success of these regional Nodes.”
The NextFlex Massachusetts Node, led by the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2), will leverage the established network of NextFlex members to catalyze the development of the FHE ecosystem with a focus on manufacturing processes. The Node will leverage prior state investments at University of Massachusetts Lowell, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Northeastern University, and support from the University of Massachusetts President’s Office. The Node will accelerate competitiveness of the regional FHE supply chain and complement the NextFlex Technology Hub in San Jose, Calif. Through M2I2, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has committed more than $100 million in funding over five years to invest in projects within the Manufacturing USA program, including up to $13 million in NextFlex Institute projects over the next three years, providing funds for equipment and facilities for the FHE community. Through the Node, NextFlex members will gain discounted access to shared user facilities at the two UMass campuses.
“Our support for Manufacturing USA and NextFlex aligns extremely well with the Commonwealth’s focus and support for innovative, cutting-edge sectors, including FHE application areas such as medical technologies and defense,” stated Ira Moskowitz, director of advanced manufacturing programs at The MassTech Collaborative. “We’re honored by this designation and look forward to continuing our partnership with Dr. Malcolm Thompson and the NextFlex team to support the growth of the FHE sector across the state.”.