Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa., announces the new Center for Functional Fabrics (CFF), an organization that will support advanced manufacturing of functional fabrics in the region and beyond.
On April 1, the U.S. Dept. of Defense announced that Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a team led by MIT with strong support from Drexel, was awarded the Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MIIs) are a national program to catalyze the resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S. The focus of this institute is to create the future generation of smart textiles through new products, processes and markets.
Drexel’s leadership in the development of AFFOA has been recognized at national and regional levels. In response to this award, Drexel University is creating the CFF, which will serve as a regional hub for AFFOA. CFF at Drexel is the open and virtual home for the multitude of transdisciplinary research activities and accompanying intellectual capital associated with functional fabrics, internally and in cooperation with CFF’s network of academic research partners.
In addition, the CFF will address educational and workforce development opportunities within the AFFOA network. CFF will serve as a “store front” for external parties to interact with Drexel’s experts in all aspects of functional fabric research, education/workforce development, corporate relations and supply chain referrals. In collaboration with AFFOA, the Drexel’s facility will help to build an advanced manufacturing ecosystem in the region, attract new ventures and create jobs.
Genevieve Dion (Westphal; ExCITe) will serve as the CFF director and Antonios Kontsos (College of Engineering; Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics Dept.) will serve as assistant director. Drexel hopes to have the CFF functioning this fall.