Funding boosts flexible electronics research
Binghamton University will lead the New York node of a new $75 million, five-year federal initiative to advance flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) chose the Flex Tech Alliance, of which Binghamton University is a founding partner, as America’s first Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing (FHE MII).
“The Flex Tech Alliance and Binghamton University have been leaders in the advancement of flexible electronics manufacturing for nearly a decade,” Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said. “This latest news is an extraordinary affirmation of the work being done by the Alliance and of the work being done by our own researchers here on campus.”
“Flexible hybrid electronics use both traditional chips as well as printed electronics on plastic, thin glass, paper and fabric materials that can bend. Applications include bandages that can sense when the wound they’re covering is infected, as well as wearable patches that monitor human performance,” said Mark Poliks, professor of systems science and industrial engineering and director of the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM).
Other FHE applications include: health monitoring patches, medical devices, sensors, imaging systems, prosthetic devices, energy storage and energy harvesting devices.
The funding, announced in late summer, will create the third federal center within Binghamton’s Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center (S3IP) and build on the University’s capabilities in electronics packaging and roll-to-roll manufacturing.
“Flexible electronics research is an example of what Binghamton University does best,” said Bahgat Sammakia, vice president for research and director of S3IP. “This campus has a strong history of bringing academia and industry together to produce innovations that benefit society. We can’t wait to get to work with our partners.”
As part of the New York node, Binghamton University will work with New York state companies including Corning Inc., i3 Electronics, General Electric and Lockheed-Martin to develop and manufacture this new technology. More companies are expected to join the initiative. Cornell University and the SUNY Network of Excellence in Materials and Advanced Manufacturing, representing all four SUNY research campuses, are also expected to participate.
The New York node will work closely with the Flex Tech Alliance to develop roadmaps and project plans. Selected projects are expected to begin early in 2016.
This institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program (NNMI). The FHE MII is the seventh MII announced — the fifth under DOD management. The NNMI program is 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.