Lexington – May 25, 2017 – Today, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) celebrated an important milestone as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, led by the Baker-Polito Administration, announced a $2.2 million grant for a Defense Fabric Discovery Center (D-FDC).
Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is a non-profit enabling a domestic manufacturing-based revolution by transforming traditional fibers, yarns, and fabrics into highly sophisticated, integrated and networked devices and systems. Alongside commercial applications advanced fabric technology also offers opportunities to develop unique solutions to critical national security challenges such as soldier systems, functional composite materials for ground & air vehicles, unique undersea and space capabilities.
To effectively focus on advanced fiber and fabric technology for national security applications, MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the US Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center have partnered with AFFOA and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to open a Defense Fabric Discovery Center (D-FDC).
Fabric Discovery Centers (FDCs) are regional centers that will provide end-to-end prototyping, start-up incubation space and workforce development activities in the field of advanced fabrics and fibers. The FDCs are also being created as part of the Department of Defense’s effort to secure U.S. leadership in revolutionary fibers and textiles manufacturing and are part of the national landscape of Manufacturing USA to promote global competitiveness in manufacturing across a spectrum of economic sectors. The D-FDC will address specific unsolved defense challenges by developing and transitioning new warfighting capabilities based on advanced fiber and fabric technology.
“We are excited to work collaboratively with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the US Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center, local manufacturers, educational institutions and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to facilitate the creation of this center which will serve support national security needs.” – Yoel Fink, AFFOA CEO.
Creating a network of FDCs is a key part of the AFFOA mission. AFFOA is expected to announce the development of additional discovery centers, as well as highly anticipated product launches, later this summer.
Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is a non-profit; its mission is to enable a domestic manufacturing-based revolution by transforming traditional fibers, yarns, and fabrics into highly sophisticated, integrated and networked devices and systems. AFFOA leads the convergence of advanced technology into fiber and textile production to commercialize fabric products that deliver value added services to the user. Through AFFOA’s activities fabrics that see, hear, sense, communicate, store and convert energy, regulate temperature, monitor health and change color will soon be possible to benefit the consumer and warfighter. AFFOA, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a public/private partnership, the 6th DoD manufacturing innovation institute and a member of the Manufacturing USA network. For more information visit AFFOA.ORG or tweet @AFFOA_RFT
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