AFFOA and its national fabric innovation ecosystem is uniquely positioned to develop and transition breakthrough fiber and fabric technologies and capabilities domestically.


Tech Strategy

Innovation at AFFOA starts with understanding the problem. We actively use our ecosystem and resources to identify domestic advanced fiber and fabric capabilities with dual use case opportunities for defense and commercial applications. Our focus is centered on transitioning technologies in the Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 4-7 space. Through strategic facilitation and funding through projects, AFFOA helps transition technologies towards manufacturability and bridges the innovation valley of death.

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AFFOA's MRL Focus Areas


Advanced Fiber & Fabric Developments

AFFOA and its diverse ecosystem of members are developing and transitioning advanced fiber and fabric technologies that enable a multitude of capabilities and apply to a variety of applications and industries. Below is a snapshot of some of these innovations:

Sustainable Polyethylene Passive Cooling Fabrics

Boriskina Research Group at MIT

Advanced Thermally Drawn Fiber with Semiconductors


Textile Capacitive Touch Sensor

Center for Functional Fabrics at Drexel University

Civil Infrastructure Monitoring

University of Massachusetts, Lowell & Saint-Gobain

Physiological Status Monitoring Fabric

AFFOA & MIT Lincoln Laboratory


AFFOA HQ’s Internal Tech Capabilities


AFFOA has end-to-end advanced fabric prototyping capabilities at HQ including the ability to design, manufacture and integrate advanced fibers using a unique thermal draw process. This enables the institute to design complex multi-material structures that can be drawn down to fiber length scales.

  • Incorporate semiconductor devices into fibers
  • Engineer complex multi-material fibers with advanced functionality using the thermal fiber draw process
  • Integrate advanced fibers into knits, woven fabrics and end products
  • Develop systems level solutions and rapidly prototype soft systems to solve complex problems



Working with AFFOA's Ecosystem Technology

AFFOA’s ecosystem of technology enables rapid development from idea to prototype to production within a domestic supply chain. We leverage previously isolated capabilities in manufacturing, CAD, fiber devices, textiles and system integration, to create an engine for rapidly executed prototypes and pilot end-to-end manufacturing of advanced fabric and fiber products.


Sponsored Research & Development

Have a specific problem you would like to solve? Leverage the capabilities of AFFOA and the FIN to execute against proprietary customer funded/government sponsored projects to solve specific problems and needs.


Rapid Prototyping

Looking to bring a specific idea to life? AFFOA’s ecosystem enables prototypes to be designed, produced and tested quickly and efficiently.


Systems Integration

Need help bringing different components together? AFFOA develops soft systems by integrating advanced fabric technologies and bringing hardware and software together.


Joint Proposal Development

Interested in pursuing funding together? Collaborate with AFFOA to jointly develop proposals for funded opportunities.