Team NEO to Partner with FlexTech Alliance on New Federal
Initiative to Advance the Commercialization and Manufacturing of
Team NEO has been named a lead partner on a new federal
initiative to advance the manufacturing and commercialization of
flexible electronics in Northeast Ohio and other regions across the
country. Team NEO, in partnership with Western
Michigan University’s Center for the Advancement of Printed
Electronics, will serve as the Midwest Node leader of the U.S.
Department of Defense’s (DoD) Flexible Hybrid Electronics
Manufacturing Innovation Institute (FHE MII). The FHE MII will be
led by San Jose-based FlexTech Alliance, a research consortium and trade
“We are excited to partner with FlexTech Alliance on this
federal initiative that further accelerates the advancement of
flexible electronics in Northeast Ohio and throughout the United
States,” said Bill R. Koehler, Chief Executive Officer of
Team NEO. “Team NEO has focused on flexible electronics as a
key enabling technology for manufacturing growth. The FHE MII will
allow our region to accelerate the manufacture, scale-up and
commercialization of these innovations.”
Over the past few years, Team NEO has assembled key pieces of a
strong flexible electronics value chain, taking a lead role to
integrate the strengths of academic and industrial partners in the
region. The co-led Midwest Node encompasses more than 32
organizations, including Team NEO’s flexible electronics
cluster, FlexMatters®, as well as The University of
Western Reserve University, Kent State University and Lorain County Community
“FlexTech is pleased to partner with Ohio companies and
universities, and Team NEO, in this new flexible hybrid electronics
initiative. Substantial assets are located in the state, making
Ohio a key player in technology development and
commercialization,” said Michael Ciesinski, President of
With the region’s established flexible electronics
cluster, rich legacy in materials, strong biomedical assets, and
workforce development expertise at facilities such as Lorain County
Community College, Northeast Ohio is well positioned to contribute
to the efforts designated by the DoD. The partnership reaffirms
Northeast Ohio’s national role as an essential innovation hub
for advancing flexible electronics.
Northeast Ohio FHE MII activities will benefit a wide array of
markets beyond defense, including wearable electronics and medical
devices, by bringing together companies, universities and R&D
centers to co-invest in key technology areas. The FHE MII will also
provide a unique opportunity for education and training, job
creation, and other forms of economic development.
The FHE MII award to FlexTech Alliance is for $75 million in
federal funding over a five-year period and is being matched by
more than $96 million in cost sharing from non-federal sources.
Northeast Ohio companies and organizations assembled greater than
$22 million in matching funds. FlexTech Alliance will distribute
funds via competitively-bid project calls. Team NEO will play an
integral role in assembling regional project teams whose success
will bring funding to Northeast Ohio to accelerate the
manufacturing and commercialization of flexible electronics.
The FHE MII is part of the National Network for Manufacturing
Innovation program (NNMI), an initiative of the Obama
Administration to support advanced manufacturing in the United
States. Each institute is part of a growing network dedicated to
securing U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies required to
win the next generation of advanced manufacturing. The first
Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) was founded in Youngstown,
Ohio, and is now called America Makes. The FHE MII is the seventh
MII announced and the fifth under DoD management.
For more information about the Flexible Hybrid Electronics
Manufacturing Innovation Institute, visit www.FHEMII.com.
About Team NEO
Team NEO is an economic development organization focused on
creating jobs for Northeast Ohio’s residents. In collaboration with
our partners, it leads the region’s business attraction
efforts, supports business retention and expansion work as
Northeast Ohio’s JobsOhio affiliate, and aligns strategies
and resources within the economic development network to maximize
its impact. In addition, Team NEO provides tools to assist
employers in attracting talent to the region. For more information,
visit www.teamneo.org and www.clevelandplusbusiness.com.
About FlexTech Alliance
FlexTech Alliance is a leading industry association focused on
growth, profitability, and success throughout the manufacturing and
distribution chain of flexible, printed electronics, and displays.
By facilitating collaboration between and among industry,
government, and academia, FlexTech Alliance develops solutions for
advancing these technologies from R&D to commercialization. For
more information, visit www.flextech.org.
About Western Michigan University’s Center for
Advancement of Printed Electronics (CAPE)
The purpose of CAPE, housed in the College of Engineering and
Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University, is to provide a
facility for research, development and application of materials for
the fabrication of flexible electronic devices on printing press.
The center contributes to the advancement of the printing, paper,
and electronics industries, and their suppliers through the
material design and analysis, device prototyping, device testing,
press engineering, press-setup, education and training. Examples of
printed flexible electronic devices include sensors, organic
photovoltaics, intelligent packaging, radio frequency
identification devices and flexible displays.