The Pentagon is teaming up with private sector companies like Boeing and Apple to create high-tech sensory gear for a variety of defense purposes, in lieu of developing the technology in-house.
The idea is to create a set of high-end 3D printed technologies to produce flexible electronic equipment embedded with sensors. This would then be latched onto soldiers, or even ships and warplanes, in order to accurately monitor structural performance.
"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," said Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Friday.
According to a recent press release, the U.S. government is funneling $75 million of award money to the FlexTech Alliance – a conglomerate of 96 companies, 42 universities and 14 state and regional organizations, as well as 11 laboratories and nonprofits – to create and manage a "flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing facility" over a five-year period. This coast will also be matched with an additional $96 million from multifarious non-federal sources.
President and CEO of FlexTech Alliance Michael Ciesinski stated that "FlexTech is privileged to accept this award from the Defense Department to stand up and lead the FHE MII [Flexible Hybrid Electronics Innovation Institute]... We are excited by the FHE manufacturing challenge and eager to get operations underway."
The Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Hub, based in San Jose, California, is just one of nine such institutes pushed by the Obama administration in an effort to refuel the manufacturing sector, with a focus on defense-related projects.
In addition to its potential national impact, support for manufacturing within the Institute will promote job creation on educational levels such as engineering, production and sales. On a local scale, it will promote the growth of companies and meaningful employment in many areas, like San Jose.
Via: PR Newswire