2244 Blach Pl
Suite 150
San Jose,  CA  95131

United States
  • Booth: 1031

Learn about NextFlex:

NextFlex and its members are focused on the manufacturability of flexible, conformal, thin, and stretchable smart devices and systems with an emphasis on solutions combining thinned silicon with a variety of substrates and utilizing additive processing as part of the design.​ The consortium focuses its funded development projects on application areas in medical wearables, structural health and asset monitoring, antenna arrays, flexible robotics and flexible power with over $100M invested since NextFlex’s start in August of 2015.

In addition, NextFlex also has its own pilot-scale manufacturing line in San Jose, California. Here, we fabricate fully integrated flexible hybrid electronic devices and systems utilizing advanced manufacturing processes and tools that transform flexible substrates, electrical materials, and thinned semiconductor devices into thin, lightweight electronics that can bend, flex, conform and stretch. Capabilities at the Technology Hub include design and prototyping, assembly, print, laser processing, design, simulation and print for RF and antennas, device programming and test and characterization.

 Press Releases

  • SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) today awarded FlexTech Alliance a Cooperative Agreement to establish and manage a Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) for Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE MII). The award 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, including the City of San Jose, private companies, universities, several U.S. states, and not-for-profit organizations. FlexTech Alliance's winning proposal results in the first of seven MIIs to be headquartered on the West Coast. The DoD's Manufacturing Technology Program Office (ManTech) oversees the MIIs.

    U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, delivered today's announcement at National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field. FlexTech Alliance, a research consortium and trade association, successfully proposed a San Jose-based hub and node approach to create the FHE MII, which comprises 96 companies, 11 laboratories and non-profits, 42 universities, and 14 state and regional organizations. This broad-based support underscores the market potential for flexible hybrid electronics, and reaffirms Silicon Valley's role as an essential hub for innovation. 

    The Institute's activities will benefit a wide array of markets beyond defense, including automotive, communications, consumer electronics, medical devices, health care, transportation and logistics, and agriculture. While the Institute will be headquartered in San Jose, existing nodes around the country already have in place an infrastructure ready to solve some of the known manufacturing challenges. The Institute will distribute R&D funds via competitively-bid project calls. Industry-generated technology roadmaps will drive project calls, timelines and investments.

    Additionally, education and training in FHE manufacturing will be emphasized in order to expand the available workforce. A "Flex School" concept will be developed through partnerships with community colleges, teaching and research universities, trade associations, and professional societies.

    Michael Ciesinski, president and CEO of FlexTech Alliance, said, "FlexTech is privileged to accept this award from the Defense Department to stand up and lead the FHE MII. Our partners collaborated on a superb proposal that links a national hub in San Jose to a network of centers of excellence throughout the U.S. We are excited by the FHE manufacturing challenge and eager to get operations underway."

    Flexible hybrid electronics, an emerging manufacturing capability, enables the integration of thin silicon electronic devices, sensing elements, communications, and power on non-traditional flexible substrates. FHE has the potential to re-shape entire industries, from the electronic wearable devices market, to medical health monitoring systems, to the ubiquitous sensing of the world around us – also known as the Internet of Things. To be successful, the Institute will need to engage aspects of the integrated circuit (IC) industry, the graphics printing industry, and the electronic assembly/packaging industry.

    FHE MII joins best-of-breed innovation efforts
    The new 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 U.S. 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.  Bridging the gap between applied research and large-scale product manufacturing, the institutes bring together companies, universities, other academic and training institutions, and Federal agencies to co-invest in technology areas that benefit the nation's commercial and national defense interests.  

    "The intent of the MII is to draw in the country's 'best of the best' scientists, engineers, manufacturing experts and business development professionals in the field of flexible hybrid electronics," stated Dr. Malcolm Thompson, Executive Director-designate of the Institute. Under the FlexTech proposal, the Hub provides overall program direction, is the integrator of components, creates prototypes, and matures manufacturing readiness levels (MRLs). "Fast start" projects for equipment, materials, devices and other vital components will make use of existing node facilities and key personnel from around the country.

    Manufacturing provides well-paying job opportunities at a range of educational levels in occupations spanning engineering, production, logistics and sales. Commenting on the Institute's local impact, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo noted, "San Jose ranks number one in the nation for Advanced Technology Industries, and is in the top two for Advanced Manufacturing.  Here in Silicon Valley, our extensive advanced manufacturing capability is essential for new product innovation across a range of growth areas—including wearable electronics, medical devices, connected vehicles, and clean tech.  The Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics will accelerate growth of companies and good jobs in San Jose. This decision affirms San Jose's role as global hub for innovation advancing the Internet of Things."

    To complement the San Jose hub, key technology nodes will be linked and include IC thinning, system design and fabrication, integration and assembly, and FHE applications. Several regional nodes have been recognized and more are expected.  Those currently aligned to the institute are centers and educational institutions throughout California, along with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas.   

    Congressman Mike Honda (D-17) said, "Congratulations to the FlexTech team and Silicon Valley for being selected as the latest Manufacturing Innovation Institute.  As the epicenter of American innovation, Silicon Valley is uniquely poised to be the leader in advanced manufacturing. Headquartering this Flexible Hybrid Electronics hub in San Jose ensures that the best of Silicon Valley's tremendous academic, commercial, industrial, public, and labor resources are available to bridge the technology transfer gap and develop this emerging, game-changing technology as it reshapes the electronics industry and brings good-paying, middle-class manufacturing jobs to the Bay Area."

    In response to the emerging call for flexible hybrid electronics across myriad industries, including military, medical, transportation, consumer electronics, wearables and beyond, the FlexTech Alliance, together with the DoD Manufacturing Technology Program Office (ManTech), other government organizations, companies, academia and non-profits, have created the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute.  For more information, visit www., or follow us on Twitter @flexhybridmii, hashtag #FHEMII, LinkedIn and Facebook.

    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 on FlexTech Alliance, visit

    Editor Addendeum:  Additional Sources

    Mike Rossi, Senior Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown, said, "Congratulations to the FlexTech team for receiving this prestigious award. The partnership of FlexTech, the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development and our local partners worked hard to ensure that the West's first Manufacturing Innovation Institute is in our state. This award confirms that California's vibrant technology sector continues to be the place to launch new and innovative enterprises."

    Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-19) said, "I'm pleased to see public-private partnerships like the FHE MII help boost advanced manufacturing here in Silicon Valley and across the United States. These sorts of investments not only create jobs at home, they boost our economy at large, and capitalize on the technologies that will keep America competitive in the future. Many people worked to make this possible, but Congressman Mike Honda deserves special recognition for leading Congressional support for this partnership."

    "Silicon Valley is the wisest choice for an advanced manufacturing institute," said Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.). "By tapping into the region's semiconductor expertise, world-renowned academic institutions, and exemplary workforce, the Defense Department will find a willing and able partner to develop a new generation of innovations that will advance America's economy." 

    Jennifer Ernst, Chair of the Governing Board of FlexTech Alliance and Chief Strategy Officer of Thin Film Electronics, said, "Flexible electronics are already re-shaping multiple markets, with a growing demand from customers.  This initiative is a catalyst that ensures the US will benefit from the industry's commercial growth, with deep supply chains, multiple product developers and integrators participating."

    "FHE is truly an exciting proposition and represents public-private collaboration in the United States at its finest," said Om Nalamasu, FlexTech Board Member and CTO of Applied Materials.  "The electronics advancements enabled by FHE allow us to imagine medical devices that can unobtrusively safeguard the health of senior citizens, wearable health monitoring for fitness and security, and soft robotics for the injured, elderly or our wounded veterans."

  • SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--NextFlex®, America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute, today released Project Call 6.0 (PC 6.0). The latest call for proposals seeks to fund projects that further the development and adoption of FHE while addressing key challenges in advanced manufacturing. The total PC 6.0 project value is expected to exceed $14.3M (project value/investment figures include cost-sharing), bringing the total anticipated investment in advancing FHE since NextFlex’s formation to $113M.

    “Project Call 6.0’s increased focus on reliability will allow us to more quickly achieve the commercialization of FHE devices in a variety of industries while meeting the DoD’s modernization priorities in the defense space.”

    Tweet this

    Building off the success and maturity of past Project Calls, PC 6.0 is designed to be more open to a broader base of proposers while still focused on resolving advanced manufacturing challenges and closing the technical gaps in the FHE roadmap to commercialization. As FHE matures, an increasing emphasis is needed on highly reliable solutions. To address this requirement, PC 6.0 includes a focus on improving the reliability of FHE devices to enable further adoption into various vertical markets, such as automotive and defense.

    “Our Project Call funding process has always allowed us to overcome critical manufacturing issues collaboratively, but this round, especially, will allow us to widen the field to find even more brilliant problem-solvers,” said Malcolm J. Thompson, NextFlex Executive Director. “Project Call 6.0’s increased focus on reliability will allow us to more quickly achieve the commercialization of FHE devices in a variety of industries while meeting the DoD’s modernization priorities in the defense space.”

    Project proposals should include a plan for transitioning projects to the U.S. industrial manufacturing base while focusing on manufacturing challenges in these topic areas:

    • High Performance and Multi-Layer FHE Devices
    • Improving the Reliability of FHE Devices
    • FHE Demonstrators for Monitoring Systems
    • Advanced FHE Materials Demonstrator
    • Closed-Loop Process Monitoring for Printed Component Manufacturing
    • Advanced FHE Modeling and Design Tools
    • System Development of RF/Microwave FHE Technology
    • Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) for Highly Integrated and Compact Interconnects for RF Systems
    • Conformal / Flexible FHE-based Active mm-Wave Phased Array Apertures

    More information on NextFlex’s PC 6.0, including proposal submission instructions and to register for a Proposer’s Day webinar on February 17, can be found here. Proposals are due April 6, 2021.

    About NextFlex

    NextFlex is a DoD sponsored Manufacturing Innovation Institute funded by Air Force Research Laboratory Cooperative Agreement numbers FA8650-15-2-5402 and FA8650-20-2-5506. NextFlex is a consortium of companies, academic institutions, non-profits and state, local and federal governments with a shared goal of advancing U.S. manufacturing of FHE. Since its formation in 2015, NextFlex’s elite team of thought leaders, educators, problem solvers and manufacturers have come together to collectively facilitate innovation, narrow the manufacturing workforce gap and promote sustainable manufacturing ecosystems. For more information, visit and follow NextFlex on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

    About Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE)

    FHE gives everyday products the power of silicon ICs by combining them with new and unique printing processes and new materials. The result: lightweight, low-cost, flexible, conformable, stretchable and highly efficient smart products with innumerable uses for consumer, commercial and military applications.

  • For Malcolm Thompson, leading a consortium is a lot like being a matchmaker. He is discreet and has a wide network. He also strives to understand his members’ goals and gain their trust. “They come to me and say, ‘We need help on some things,’ which can reveal a weakness,” said Thompson, executive director of NextFlex, a consortium in the flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) industry. “And we keep it completely to ourselves.”

    NextFlex was formed in 2015 under a five-year agreement between the FlexTech Alliance, a research and trade group, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Its mission is to facilitate innovation in FHE—an emerging technology—and foster domestic manufacturing of them, including workforce development.

    Students from Branham High School in San Jose, Calif., learn how products are made at a visit to the Jabil Blue Sky Center, which houses some of the world’s cutting-edge technologies.

    Flexible hybrid electronics integrate thin silicon electronic devices, sensing elements, communications and power on non-traditional, flexible substrates.

    NextFlex signed its second multi-year agreement with the DoD in 2020, a contract worth $154 million over seven years.

    “Flexible hybrid electronics are enabling a disruption in the way we currently manufacture and package electronics,” Thompson said. “New paradigms for until-now impossible form factors which are thin and flexible, are at lower cost points, use all-digital process flows, are lighter weight, and have robust reliability, are all benefits of this new technology.

    “The U.S. is known for innovation, and flexible hybrid electronics perfectly fit the profile of what we’re best at—innovating.”

    In 2016, one year after the institute was established, it added a Technology Hub adjacent to the NextFlex offices.

    The technology hub is a 10,000-square-foot, pilot-scale manufacturing facility for printing, assembly, programming and reliability testing of FHE that includes lab space and a clean room. It is compliant with International Traffic in Arms Regulations and approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for manufacturing medical devices.

    While based in San Jose, Calif., NextFlex has two geographic nodes, one in New York and one in Massachusetts.

    Malcolm Thompson, executive director of NextFlex

    While there is a concentration of members in each of these geographic regions, it’s the diversity of complementary capabilities that make these regions unique.

    In addition, each region has a specific mix of interests that creates a greater impact, including leading FHE companies, world-class universities, and strong economic development programs that invest in job creation through technology development.

    Members currently number more than 100 and include companies, laboratories and non-profits, universities and municipalities.

    Members have input on technology roadmaps and then can compete for project grants for related projects of up to $1 million, with companies contributing an equal amount. The typical award, however, is in the $250,000 to $500,000 range.

    One of its members, Xerox PARC, received funding from NextFlex to develop an FHE biosensor platform that can be attached to a mouthguard for continuous, remote monitoring of biomarkers in saliva.

    “We’ve been involved with NextFlex since its inception or prior and we know them well,” said Dave Schwartz, research director of cleantech for the Xerox division. “We’ve been working on flexible electronics a very long time, so there’s a lot of synergy there. They’ve done a lot to advance FHE manufacturing, so that helps us a lot.”

    Schwartz said he’s spoken at NextFlex events and has gone to its workshops, conferences and roadmapping activities.

    For the saliva platform, “the first market is for performance monitoring for athletes in sports where wearing a mouthguard is common,” Schwartz said.

    The platform assesses lactate, which research has shown correlates with fitness and fatigue.

    It can help coaches, for example, determine a fitness regimen and when to give someone a rest during training or play.

    Eventually, the platform may be used for medical applications. “There are many different types of conditions that can be diagnosed with something like this,” Schwartz said.

    While helping members like Xerox PARC develop FHE to be production-ready is part of NextFlex’s mission, so is workforce development.

    The institute does that partly through its members who are in education in six states: Alabama, California, Louisiana, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia.

    Engaging the unengaged in STEM

    One of those members, Lorain County Community College (LCCC) in Ohio, has been so successful with NextFlex’s Learn & Earn program that LCCC is working with federal grant money to extend the program throughout the state.

    In the learn-and-earn setup, students in the college’s program for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), which are like FHE, attend school two days a week and work three days at local companies.

    Kelly Zelesnik, dean of engineering, business and IT at Lorain County Community College
    The program, which started in 2013, is so successful that virtually all enrollees complete it, and all the graduates are working in their field, said Kelly Zelesnik, dean of engineering, business and information technology.

    Since 2018, LCCC has run FlexFactor, the institute’s educational program for middle and high school students. Lorain County FlexFactor has involved 1,700 students to date, said Deanna Strauss Hersko, manager of career technical pathways and programs.

    FlexFactor uses design thinking and problem-solving to encourage students to develop a product concept using FHE technology. The program concludes with students pitching to a panel of experts. FlexFactor also exposes students to smart manufacturing careers through industry engagement, tours and connections with campus faculty.

    “Students who would more likely not opt in are actually participating and see themselves working in manufacturing,” said Strauss Hersko. “FlexFactor really engages that unengaged learner in STEM pathways.”

    In fact, 71 percent of students surveyed after their FlexFactor session felt they could be more successful in STEM and advanced manufacturing (AM) careers after their participation, according to results Strauss Hersko provided.

    Also, 61 percent of students surveyed said they were more likely to pursue an educational pathway or career related to STEM, AM or business.

    Zelesnik said her next big dream is to run FlexFactor for adults, especially women, military veterans and older, displaced workers. She thinks the program would have the same impact on them that it has on school-age children.

    Holding LCCC back from offering more of  NextFlex’s educational sessions—or those from other Manufacturing USA institutes in which it’s a member—is lack of money to run the labor-intensive sessions.

    “Connecting to the Manufacturing USA institutes requires some level of capacity and effort because we need to be engaged to be a good participant,” said Zelesnik. “But it’s so well worth it. Being at the table is really important.”


  • NextFlex Flexible Microcontroller
    Printed flex circuits based on Arduino® products...

  • As part of an FHE design and manufacturing demonstration project, NextFlex, in partnership with Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), translated electronic designs based on Arduino® products from standard PCB circuit boards to printed flex circuits. The effort is currently in its second phase.

    Learn more:

  • AFRL Confined Space Monitoring Armband
    A flexible conformal armband capable of monitoring volatile organic compound concentrations, oxygen levels, temperature and humidity....

  • This device is designed as a flexible conformal armband capable of monitoring volatile organic compound concentrations, oxygen levels, temperature and humidity. Processing and communication are provided by a Bluetooth radio that can connect to a cell phone and allows for remote monitoring of the worker from a central control station. The design is powered by an onboard battery which can be wirelessly recharged using an embedded Qi charging circuit and brings together an incredibly dense array of features into a highly flexible, wearable and robust additively manufactured electronics format.

    Learn more:

  • NASA Astrosense
    In-space Manufacturing, Multi Material Fabrication with Printed Electronics...

  • NASA developed a next-generation wearable flexible sensor array for astronaut crew health monitoring, also known as “AstroSense”. In the span of four months, the NextFlex team contributed to the development efforts of the next generation sensor for astronaut crew health monitoring by building and delivering a specific piece of hardware called a potentiostat for performing electrochemical analysis and printed disposable electrodes for use with artificial sweat samples. The team also performed biocompatibility tests, designed an encapsulating enclosure for moisture and dust ingress protection, and delivered several mock-up prototypes for demonstration purposes.

    Learn more:

Send Email

Type your information and click "Send Email" to send an email to this exhibitor. To return to the previous screen without saving, click "Reset".

For Technical Support with this webpage, please contact support.