Fueling Flexible Electronics

Fueling Flexible Electronics

Flexible electronics encompasses a large cross-section of
technical sciences such as polymers, advanced materials, flexible
displays and more. Each of these areas are “developing a new
class of flexible electronic devices,” which can be applied
to products in the medical, advanced energy, military, industrial
and consumer markets. In August, the U.S. Department of Defense
(DoD) added more fuel to the flexible electronics fire by awarding
a $75 million grant to San Jose-based company FlexTech

The grant is meant to help establish the Flexible Hybrid
Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute (FHE MII), which
would be a consortium of 96 companies, 11 laboratories and
non-profits, 43 universities and 15 state and regional
organizations., What does this have to do with Northeast Ohio? Team
NEO has been named a lead partner on this new federal initiative to
advance the manufacturing and commercialization of flexible
electronics in the region and other regions across the

In partnership with Western Michigan University’s Center for the
Advancement of Printed Electronics, Team NEO will serve as the
Midwest Node leader for the Institute. This partnership aligns well
with some of the initiatives Team NEO has already been working on
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

This co-led Midwest Node encompasses more than 32 organizations,
including Team NEO’s flexible electronics cluster,
FlexMatters®, as well as The University of
, Case
Western Reserve University
, Kent State University and Lorain County Community

Specifically, the $75 million grant will be spread over a
five-year period and is being matched by more than $96 million in
cost sharing from non-federal sources. Companies and organizations
in Northeast Ohio make up more than $22 million in matching funds.
The funds will be distributed by FlexTech through project

With the region’s well-established FlexMatters cluster,
rich history in materials, strong biomedical resources, and career
advancement, Northeast Ohio is well fit to contribute to the
efforts designated by the DoD. This partnership between Team NEO
and FlexTech Alliance reaffirms our region’s national role as
an important innovation hub for fueling flexible electronics.