The United States Department of Defense on Friday announced that a consortium of 162 companies and institutions, led by the FlexTech Alliance, will soon receive $171 million in total new funding for a new Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. Firms and institutions, who are either members or back the FlexTech Alliance, include Apple, MIT, Stanford, Lockheed, Cal Poly, Laird and many more.
“Part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation announced by President Obama in 2012, this newest institute will bring the best minds from government, industry and academia together to advance U.S. leadership in manufacturing flexible hybrid electronics,” the Department of Defense said Friday.
“I’ve been pushing the Pentagon to think outside our five-sided box and invest in innovation here in Silicon Valley and in tech communities across the country,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, according to Bloomberg. “Now we’re taking another step forward.”
The funding should help the consortium create new flexible electronics that can be used in wearable devices, for health monitoring and even into other vehicle-based applications. The goal is for military use, of course, but the Pentagon said that it the tech ultimately will have “dual use applications” for consumers, too. The investment should also push additional U.S. companies to manufacture products in the United States, instead of abroad, creating new jobs in the process.