Opportunities exist to move technologies and capabilities relevant to advancements in the functional fabrics and adjacent industries forward that are in support of Government and commercial interests.


MITANDFIT Workshop: Industry Partner Open Call

We are developing the next iteration of a unique collaboration between MIT, FIT and AFFOA, The MITANDFIT workshop.

This workshop brings students from design and science together around an industry challenge that incorporates real world issues. In short, the workshop can be compared to a two week “hackathon” where students receive support, instruction, and mentoring from MIT scientists and FIT industry focused faculty.

We are searching for an industry partner to provide an industry challenge that the workshop will be based around. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the workshop and the opportunity with you in detail – please contact Joanne Arbuckle- joanne_arbuckle@fitnyc.edu

Deadline May 10th


A team inside the company to develop a challenge for students to create prototypes of possible solutions using MIT technologies. This team is expected to work with MIT and FIT faculty to have a brief on the industrial challenge. During the workshop the company team is expected to give a talk about their branding ethos and attend the student presentations to give feedback on prototypes and final presentation.

Expectations also include:

  • 1-2 points of contact from the organization
  • 10-15 hours of time prior to the workshop
  • 5 hours of time during the workshop
  • Branding resources for pre-workshop module
  • Physical materials corresponding to the industry challenge to include in 12 design kits for students


The industry partner plays a critical role in the success of the workshop in the creation of the design brief and their mentorship role during the workshop.

As a result of the workshop, one of the benefits the industry partner receives is from the presentation of product innovations that the students develop in answering the challenge and access to the emerging workforce.


Below is a short description of the design brief that was developed for our recent workshop with New Balance.

CHALLENGE : Live for Tomorrow
Corporations often struggle to transition towards more sustainable behavior because of the associated costs of implementation or compromises to consumer’s perceptions of their existing business. For New Balance, performance is always the first lens by which a new product must be judged.

Inspired by the research of Svetlana V. Boriskina, Ph.D.

How might humble polyethylene fuel next-generation athletic performance gear?
The students explored “Smart PE (polypropylene)as a sustainable option for clothing and footwear looking at innovative ways to disassemble apparel/footwear for recycling purposes.

Inspired by the Morpho species, Mathias Kolle, Ph.D. (http://news.mit.edu/2018/color-changing-compression-ban-dage-signal-pressure-level-0529) has taken a biomimetic approach to demonstrate the potential for tunable, color-changing functional Fibers the team propose the following challenge:

How might structural color-changing fibers signal the starting line for what’s about to come?

Deep exploration as to how to evaluate performance within the clothing and footwear and provide an opportunity for the athlete and others to utilize the data.

How to Apply

We welcome the opportunity to discuss the workshop and the opportunity with you in detail – please contact Joanne Arbuckle- joanne_arbuckle@fitnyc.edu

Response Deadline: 05.10.2021

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2019 Balaclava and Removable Facemask (A Cold Weather Head and Facial Protection Solution)

Brief Description: AFFOA is seeking proposals for cut and sew manufacturers to support a limited production of a government designed prototype of a cold weather face and head protection system that meets military requirements for operating in cold to intense cold weather conditions (+20°F to -25°F) The system will consist of a balaclava and removable facemask for additional face protection and goggle integration. Option to produce 500 rather than 300 balaclavas. Proposers are requested to price accordingly.
Period of Performance: ~2 months from award date
Response Deadline: COB 14 November 2019
Proposal Submission Link: https://forms.gle/JdGAfj9PZLvcfsJe9
Attached Documents: Request for Proposal (RFP), Proposal and Budget Templates.
RFP: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pJeEKWAgwQYF3FNxNaKQiuoCKHW87tbv
Proposal Template: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ibrDt-jpVGpLxpsiHgG4vFiS2wpcdRze/view?usp=sharing
Budget Template: https://drive.google.com/open?id=11bfqlCM2VmtY2hQz4KZ5LcpYSFIASJeX

Response Deadline: 11.14.2019

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National EWD Funding Opportunity

National EWD Funding Opportunity

AFFOA would like to let the membership network know about DoD Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and Biotechnology Education, Outreach, and Workforce Initiative Programs and Enhanced Civics Education 2021. Possible STEM initiatives related to this funding include career pathways, mentoring programs, cross-disciplinary programs, innovations in remote learning, consortia approaches to implement STEM education; education and outreach activities that strengthen communities and partnerships with industry (among others). Please see page 6 and 7 of the funding announcement linked below to review the full list of activities. The ceiling for this award is $3 million over 3 years.

We have included key dates for submission below.

Please reach out to Becky Lewis (becky@affoa.org) if you have any questions or are interested in exploring partnering with AFFOA on a technical application for this opportunity.

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