The smart/wearables textiles sector will get a boost with U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) funding. U. S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has announced the creation of the National Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Hybrid Electronics.
According to the U. S. DoD, “FlexTech Alliance,” a consortium of 96 companies, 41 universities, 14 state and local organizations, 11 laboratories and non-profit organizations, will establish the institute with $75 million in funding from the department. In addition to DoD funds, private and public sector partners are contributing enough to match or exceed government support, according to Secretary Carter.
“Our troops will be able to lighten their loads with sensors and electronic gear embedded in their clothing,” Carter said. The innovation institute is part of President Obama’s program to create a number of manufacturing innovation institutes to boost the manufacturing sector in the United States. It will be located in Silicon Valley.
Seshadri Ramkumar, PhD, FTA (Honorary) is a professor in the Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory, Texas Tech University.