Grant Awards and Project Details

 

Grantee Date Announced  Amount Project Description
UMass Amherst FY'16  $1,322,000 Scalable Roll-to-Roll for Flexible Hybrid Electronics

This project is aimed at developing scalable roll-to-roll and print processes for the integration of flexible-hybrid electronics components in order to validate the manufacturing approaches for the integration of wearable sensor platforms for human performance monitoring. The equipment includes state-of-the-art tools necessary for the NextFlex research project, including roll-to-roll-based pick and place of thinned, flexible silicon die onto patterned conductors on flex substrates, the printing of passive and active electronic circuit elements, and design and integration of novel antenna designs for wireless communications. Supported by NextFlex

UMass Amherst FY'16 $1,000,000 Clean Room

The Clean Room at UMass is a center for research and workforce development for flexible hybrid electronics. This center features instrumentation and climate that limits the number of particulates to interact with the electronics. This controlled environment allows students and industry to develop high-precision electronics for manufacturing.  Supported by NextFlex

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1-11-2018 $800,000 Education Factory

The Education Factory is a small advanced manufacturing facility that will produce equipment and components for the education, research, and early production needs of AIM Photonics MA partners while serving to teach advanced manufacturing and Integrated Photonics concepts to students and future photonics employees. This is a prototype pilot factory with the plan of creating additional such facilities across the Commonwealth. Economic development impact comes through: Supporting Emerging Industries, Strengthening Existing Companies, Developing new Workforce Skills, and Enabling new Entrepreneurial Activity.  Supported by AIM

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1-11-2018 $199,511 Design Server

MIT will be leading components of the Design for Manufacturability Methods and Tools for Photonic Systems Manufacturing Center of Excellence. In this program, MIT will analyze photonic device performance data and develop new simulation techniques to enhance the manufacturability of photonic components. The Design Project requires a design server and workstations that will allow MIT to complete the modeling and simulations necessary to fulfill the proposed scope of work for advancing the field of photonics design.  Supported by AIM

Analog Photonics 10-6-2017 $1,072,884 Design Software System

Analog Photonics has developed of the first and second phase of a design software system that enables designers to create integrated photonics chips to be manufactured. This technology will be the basis for the development of the design tools that will enable the integrated photonics industry.  Supported by AIM

AFFOA Fabric Discovery Center 5-31-2017 $5,174,410 Fabric Discovery Center

This facility will allow AFFOA to establish product prototyping capability to demonstrate advanced functionalities (2X2 sq ft of fabrics), which will serve as risk-reduction to support investment in larger-scale production/build toward pilot level capability for preform/fiber. This facility will also serve as a prototype for the Fabrics Discovery Centers (FDC) where technology, prototyping, design and education are housed under one roof to accelerate ideation and innovation.  Supported by AFFOA

MIT Lincoln Laboratory 12-20-2017 & 5-2017  $6,150,000 Defense Fabric Discovery Center

This facility housed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory will be built to address the unique requirements of working with the military and to aggressively drive the application of emerging advanced fiber and fabric technology for defense applications.  The center will be equipped with end-to-end prototyping capabilities for advanced fabrics, spanning CAD of functional fabrics, fiber and yarn device fabrication, textile system and assemblies, and system integration. This is phase I of the project, to have the basic lab established and will be expanded in the future.  Supported by AFFOA

UMass Lowell 5-31-2017 $10,000,000 Discovery Center

This is the first in the nation, a collaboration between two national Manufacturing USA Centers. This is will be a center for both flexible electronics and textile/fabric development. The facility will be an end-to-end fabric innovation ecosystem with capabilities ranging from resin compounding equipment, fiber extrusion lines, textile assembly (e.g., knitting, weaving), and textile finishing (e.g., coating, digital printing, bonding/seaming) equipment.  Supported by AFFOA & NextFlex

UMass Lowell 5-31-2017 $314,000 Testing Facility

This grant is to Umass Lowell for the development of a testing facility that will allow companies to come in to test early-stage products to see if they are ready for mass production. The facility, enabled by this grant, is a foundational part of the development of this new industry.  Supported by NextFlex

SI2 Technologies, Partner UMass Lowell

 

5-31-2017 $512,000 Antenna/Radar Development

This grant is to SI2 a defense contractor in radar technology in Billerica and a partnership with Umass Lowell to develop flexible electronics for radar and antenna devices.  Supported by NextFlex

Analog Photonics 10-6-2017 $433,000 Design Software System

Sophisticated design software for the development of new integrated photonics products does not exist and Analog Photonics is building this new industry in Massachusetts. They developed the first and second phases of a design software system with the help of previous grants and require this tooling to stay on track to commitments for AIM Photonics for the next generations. They expect to hire 5 additional employees in 2017 for this work, grow revenue from $7M in 2017 to $10M in 2018 with a projection of over $100M and over 100 new jobs over the next 5 years; leverage additional funds from the federal government; and foster a local ecosystem developing around their work, with a multiplier effect for jobs in the Massachusetts photonics industry. The rest of the total grant of $1.39M is in FY18.  Supported by AIM

Saint-Gobain, Partner UMass Lowell 10-6-2017 $550,000 Civil Infrastructure Monitoring System

Develops a civil infrastructure monitoring system that monitors infrastructure and pinpoints damage to existing infrastructure in its early stages, thereby minimizing maintenance costs, environmental impacts, and disruptions to the population.  In addition, this system would also help to detect adverse impacts to existing civil infrastructure (buildings, pipelines, bridges & tunnels, rail lines) that can occur during trenchless operations that occur underground during the installation of new structures (pipelines, tunnels) needed to support economic growth.  The ability to see problems before they manifest and pinpoint exact problem locations means that we fix the right problem, have a targeted location for preventative maintenance, minimize maintenance costs, prevent environmental impact, and stop further damage to our civil infrastructure.  Supported by AFFOA

Boronite 7-12-2018 $240,000 Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) 

American Boronite Corporation is a 9-employee advanced materials company manufacturing Boron Nitride Nanotubes (BNNTs) in continuous yarn and seamless tape formats; the first in the world to synthesize BNNTs in continuous form, but also on building manufacturing capabilities in Massachusetts. Their focus is to become the globally preeminent supplier of BNNT yarn and tape, and developer and licensor of BNNT applications in a wide variety of fields. They are asking for support to increase textile manufacturing in Burlington to enable them to bid on contracts at Lincoln Laboratory, AFFOA, Air Force etc.  Supported by AFFOA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 10-6-2017 $190,000 Ministry of Supply

Shape-Shifting Climate-Adaptive Garments.  Supported by AFFOA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 10-6-2017 $700,000 Robot Training (Teach-Bot)

This project will develop robotics education technology, focused on factory workers such as technicians, that will retrain workers to understand and work alongside robots as manufacturing becomes increasingly automated. In this way, it will help sustain manufacturing jobs and enable existing employees to scale up their skills for Industry 4.0.  Supported by ARM 

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), Partner Greater Lawrence Technical School 7-12-2018 $2,574,300 Fabric Discovery Center

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) HQ FDC Expansion and Workforce Development Project.  Supported by AFFOA

UMass Lowell 5-31-2017 $525,000 Substrate/Polymer Development

This grant will allow Umass Lowell to develop new polymers and substrates for flexible hybrid electronics. This new material will be the basis for new products.  Supported by NextFlex

Uniqarta, Partner UMass Amherst 10-6-2017 $287,804 Ultra-Thin Die Assembly for Advanced Flexible-Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Systems Tool

This tool is for Ultra-Thin Die Assembly for advanced flexible-hybrid electronics (FHE) Systems. It will address key manufacturing gaps and workforce development needs critical to the deployment of FHE technologies. The downstream commercial applications are well aligned with Massachusetts strengths, including wearable sensors for activity and performance monitoring, digital health, and the Internet of Things.  Supported by NextFlex

SI2 Technologies, Partner UMass Lowell 2-1-2018 $400,000 Antenna/Microwave

The effort will allow SI2 to develop flexible electronics antennas that can survive high temperatures required in autonomous hypersonic vehicle applications, an area that DoD is investing $2B in development, with knock-on high temp applications in drilling, etc. SI2 will hire additional personnel as their hypersonic is enabled. Additionally, this effort will continue to establish UMass Lowell as a leader for customized test methods and necessary infrastructure for characterization of the mechanical strength and electrical integrity of selected simple and complex flexible hybrid electronic (FHE) devices.  Supported by NextFlex

 UMass Amherst 7-12-2018 $239,719 Vital Sign Monitoring Device

Validates core processes and equipment in UMass Print and R2R facility for scalable manufacturing of advanced wearable sensors. These processes will be made available to the Massachusetts industry for similar FHE integration and application areas, thereby enhancing the ability for MA companies to compete. The project further advances the state stretchable and wearable healthcare sensor commercialization developed by GE, with corporate headquarters, marketing, and sales force in MA towards commercialization.  Supported by NextFlex

Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) & Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)(Partnership) 1-11-2018 $4,050,000 Photonics Training Center

This grant is for the development of a photonics training center at QCC in partnership with WPI. This will be an education and manufacturing practice facility, a place to train and certify small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a proving ground to help SMEs become part of the supply chain, and an education facility particularly for technicians to move into small and large photonics companies, and a facility to support the AIM factories and labs.  Supported by AIM

Analog Photonics 10-6-2017  $957,000 Design Software System

Sophisticated design software for the development of new integrated photonics products does not exist and Analog Photonics is building this new industry in Massachusetts. They developed the first and second phases of a design software system with the help of previous grants and require this tooling to stay on track to commitments for AIM Photonics for the next generations. They expect to hire 5 additional employees in 2017 for this work, grow revenue from $7M in 2017 to $10M in 2018 with a projection of over $100M and over 100 new jobs over the next 5years; leverage additional funds from the federal government; and foster a local ecosystem developing around their work, with a multiplier effect for jobs in the Massachusetts photonics industry.  Supported by AIM

UMass Lowell 7-12-2018 $400,000 Robot ARMada

The Accessible Robotic Manipulators (ARM) Farm at the UMass Lowell NERVE Center will be a national testbed of robotic industrial manipulators for robotics companies, software developers, and manufacturers, as well as a robotics training center for university and community college students and faculty.  Supported by ARM 

Lincoln Labs (MIT) 10-6-2017 $1,900,000 Germanium Deposition Tool

This tool will complete the capability of Lincoln Labs to offer a unique, fully integrated, DoD-certified development line for the integrated photonics industry. It will provide workforce training services; initiate start-up companies as well as license technologies to local start-ups; and provide an integrated defense-certified Trusted Foundry development line for local defense contractors (Raytheon, Draper, etc.) for developing emerging applications. The line will sustain and potentially increase the number of engineers and technicians employed at LL and the local supply chain will benefit because such large system programs require significant procurement of supporting services from local companies.   Supported by AIM

MRSI Systems 10-6-2017 $570,000 High-Speed Electronics Packaging Tool

MRSI is a small robotics manufacturing company in Billerica, MA company making advanced high-speed electronics packaging tools. While their offerings are some of the most advanced in the US, the leader is in Europe and MRSI is not yet competitive. By purchasing this tool from MRSI and working with them closely, Analog Photonics can benefit from the high-speed capability of the tool and MRSI can benefit from this partnership to advance their technology and achieve parity or beyond relative to the industry leader.  Supported by AIM 

Carpe Diem Technologies, Partners: Rothtec (New Bedford), Flexcon (Spencer), and Mack (Westford). 7-12-2018 $2,150,000 Develop New Printed Hybrid Electronics

CDT has developed and is delivering Roll-to-Roll (R2R) Manufacturing Systems and Modules with Nano-Imprint Lithography (NIL) capabilities. CDT’s collaboration with MA universities and at conferences have helped seed opportunities in consumer product labels, automotive dashboards, water/air filtration, and anti-fraud banknotes, all with significant high-volume activity. More opportunities exist in hybrid electronics and industrial desalination/wastewater clean-up, all with high-volume opportunities but on a longer timeline. CDT’s objective is to scale-up and addresses these current opportunities, and beyond. CDT will lead an ecosystem of 4 MA companies to address these opportunities, which will provide a positive economic impact to MA in jobs especially in areas (outside of Boston / Cambridge) which require assistance.  Supported by NextFlex

Pendar Technologies 7-12-2018 $929,500 Indium Phosphide Semiconductor Processing Facility

Pendar is developing next-generation handheld spectroscopic tools and high-power IR sources for use in DoD and commercial applications. The enabling technology for those instruments is our patented quantum cascade laser array (QCLA). Proprietary process development for high yield and low-cost QCL laser array manufacturing is crucial for opening up large volume commercial spectroscopic applications. To execute this vision, Pendar needs to establish an in-house Indium Phosphide semiconductor processing facility. Funding from M2I2 will be essential to reach this goal.  Supported by AIM

Sheaumann Laser 1-17-2019 $2,345,000 Semiconductor Laser Components and Modules

Small, 30-employee vertical provider of semiconductor laser components and modules addressing industrial, defense, medical and printing applications. Can make a major business expansion and job creation by expanding capability and capacity through this grant. In addition, can develop the capability to become a national go-to foundry for InP technology for AIM Photonics.  Supported by AIM

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 10-6-2017 $680,000 Robot Training (Teach-Bot)

This project will develop robotics education technology, focused on factory workers such as technicians, that will retrain workers to understand and work alongside robots as manufacturing becomes increasingly automated. In this way, it will help sustain manufacturing jobs and enable existing employees to scale up their skills for Industry 4.0.  Supported by ARM 

UMass Lowell 7-12-2018 $600,000 Robot ARMada

The Accessible Robotic Manipulators (ARM) Farm at the UMass Lowell NERVE Center will be a national testbed of robotic industrial manipulators for robotics companies, software developers, and manufacturers, as well as a robotics training center for university and community college students and faculty.  Supported by ARM 

Northeastern University 1-17-2019 $500,000 Collaborative Robotics to Foster Innovation for Seafood Handling (FISH)

Design, develop, and validate an integrated robotic system that will primarily operate at the inspection and grading station at a fish processing plant to perform a set of automated tasks with acceptable agility, accuracy, and reliability…tasks that are currently both difficult to perform by humans and to find enough people to staff.   Supported by ARM 

SI2 Technologies, Partners: UMass Lowell, Xenon, Peerless Precision

 

1-17-2019 $928,400 Manufacture of Digitally Printed FHE on Complex Surfaces

Development of a unique, large working area, multi-axis, multi-tool gantry system to digitally and conformally print FHEs directly onto large complex surfaces for defense applications such as radomes and UAV body panels. SI2, Peerless, and Xenon will collaborate in conjunction with their radome customers CPI Radant (Radome manufacturer in Hudson and Stow, MA) and Raytheon.  Supported by NextFlex

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 10-6-2017 $600,000 Robot Training (Teach-Bot)

This project will develop robotics education technology, focused on factory workers such as technicians, that will retrain workers to understand and work alongside robots as manufacturing becomes increasingly automated. In this way, it will help sustain manufacturing jobs and enable existing employees to scale up their skills for Industry 4.0.  Supported by ARM 

UMass Lowell, Partner Lockheed Martin 7-11-2019 $303,000 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS) Using Hybrid Flexible Electronics

UMass Lowell will work with Lockheed Martin to utilize flexible electronics to lower the overall weight and add communication functionality to drones. The resulting wireless devices and systems can be applied to other electronics, supporting the Commonwealth’s leadership in this area. The project is supported by NextFlex. Supported by NextFlex

UMass Lowell, Partner Lockheed Martin, 7-11-2019 $201,600 Application-Responsive Encapsulation Processes for FHE (Flexible Hybrid Electronic) Devices

The project aims to create new methods and materials to encapsulate flexible hybrid devices, which will improve performance and increase their commercial value, processes that will benefit all Massachusetts companies working on FHE devices. This project is also supported by NextFlex. Supported by NextFlex

UMass Lowell, Partner Boeing 7-11-2019 $305,700 Textile with Embedded and Printed Sensors (STEPS) Expanded Multi-Mission Operation

The STEPS project will develop a functional textile that can monitor aircraft wings and similar structures during production, one of the longest processes in the production of commercial aircraft. Advanced monitoring is expected to reduce the production time by 50 percent, which could translate to millions of dollars in savings per plane. Supported by NextFlex

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 7-11-2019 $82,300 Cobots for Kids

The project will develop, test, and deploy a curriculum for summer and after-school programs targeted at middle and high school students, which includes hands-on experience and training in collaborative robotics. The project will help prepare the next generation of advanced manufacturing employees with the skills they need to succeed, while also providing opportunities for two- and four-year college students to become program instructors themselves.  Supported by ARM 

Bridgewater State University,  Partner Stonehill College 10-29-19 $3,807,731 Southeastern Massachusetts Lab for Education and Application Prototypes (SEMA LEAP)
This award will create a regional integrated photonics hub centered at both Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University (BSU). The project will combine the complementary strengths, resources, and know-how of each institution to further technology, innovation, workforce training, and manufacturing in Massachusetts in Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). SEMA LEAP will train and educate the photonics industry technician-level and engineering workforce to support new economic growth and development in areas such as telecommunication and data-communication, precision measurements, biomedical sensing and imaging, optic and laser development, and auto-driving. Supported by AIM
Human System Integration, Inc. (HSI) 10-29-19 $1,449,632 Garment-Embedded Physiological Monitoring Platform
Human Systems Integration will work with its university partner, UMass Lowell, to evolve its garment-embedded physiological monitoring platform. The goal of the project is for HSI to adapt and enhance this platform and make it configurable for the integration of a broad suite of physiological and environmental sensors. These sensors will objectively measure, non-invasively monitor, and report the medical-grade physiological and performance status of the wearer.  This award will help HSI, and emerging Massachusetts industry partners, to establish a garment-embedded electronics supply chain for multiple products, applications, and markets. The project at hand focused on a physiological monitoring solution for Air Force pilots, offers a stepping stone towards the development and deployment of a chronic monitoring solution for sick and at-risk patients.  Supported by NextFlex
Convergent Photonics, Partner Western New England University (WNE) 10-21-20 $2,581,109 Advanced Manufacturing Center
This award will support the development of a new advanced manufacturing center at Convergent Photonics in Chicopee, which is partnering with Western New England University (WNE) on the new facility. Called a ‘Lab for Education and Application Prototyping, or LEAP, the lab will focus on product development, training, and research in the field of integrated photonics, and will be the fourth lab of its kind in the state. Supported by AIM

AFFOA Headquarters
Partner Greater Lawrence Technical School

 

FY'20 $1,178,557 Expand Headquarters Fabric Discovery Center (FDC) and the Education & Workforce Development Program
This award will support the expansion of the existing Headquarters Fabric Discovery Center (FDC) and the Education & Workforce Development program. This project includes three components: (1)The addition of key equipment needed for advanced fiber and fabric products, doubling AFFOA’s capacity to create preforms for fibers, and enable detailed analysis and integration of fibers into prototypes and devices. (2)Headquarters Phase 2 renovation to improve collaboration and space utilization, which is part of the Commonwealth’s $40M commitment to support AFFOA infrastructure in Massachusetts. (3)Expansion of the Advanced Functional Fabrics (AFF) Lab at Greater Lawrence Technical School (GLTS), allowing GLTS to double the students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) program that can engage in functional fabrics. Supported by AFFOA
Lockheed Martin
Partners UMass Lowell, UMass Dartmouth
FY'20 $600,000 RF over Fiber and Flexible Interconnects for Large Deployable XBand Phased Arrays
This award will support finding solutions to the challenges of characterizing and optimizing the process of attaching small and/or thin components onto a wide range of flexible device substrates. Supported by NextFlex
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
Partner Carpe Diem
FY'20 $419,775 Optimized Inkjet Printing, Measurement Tools, and Roll-to-Sheet Capabilities
This award supports WPI & Carpe Diem with collaboration from QCC to develop inkjet printing, measurement, and roll-to-sheet (R2S) prototyping equipment for enhancing high-volume manufacturing of flexible-hybrid electronics or FHEs. It bridges the gap between prototyping and manufacturing of FHEs in the Mass. ecosystem, including providing access, training, and outreach. This project provides the FHE companies with a set of optimization and measurement tools that can be used for ink-based printing processes, accessible to universities and companies. Supported by NextFlex
UMass Lowell
Partner Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
FY'20 $150,000 DataCube for the FHE Material and Process Database
This award supports collaboration between UMass Lowell and WPI, along with contributions from Binghamton University. Flexible Hybrid Electronic (FHE) manufacturing can be highly dependent on the material, process, and properties used in manufacturing. This dependency has been described as a “DataCube”. This project seeks to demonstrate printable stretchable conductor inks and characterize their DataCube. Supported by NextFlex
UMass Amherst FY'20 $66,000 Determination of Process Specifications for Surface-Mount and Die-Attach Adhesives for FHE Material and Process Database
This award supports this nine-month project that will provide material data sheets and process specifications for reliable attachment of various components onto flexible electronic substrates. The particular focus is to address the challenges of characterizing and optimizing the process of attaching small and/or thin components onto a wide range of flexible device substrates. Supported by NextFlex
Massachusetts Manufacturers (MERT) FY'20 $5,600,000 Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT)
The grants awarded went to support Massachusetts manufacturers in pivoting their operations to produce needed materials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Priority items produced include N95 masks, surgical masks, general-purpose face coverings, face shields, surgical gowns, and sanitizers.  Supported by AFFOA
Massachusetts Manufacturers (MERT) FY'21 $3,000,000 Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT)
The grants awarded went to support Massachusetts manufacturers in pivoting their operations to produce needed materials in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Priority items produced include N95 masks, surgical masks, general-purpose face coverings, face shields, surgical gowns, and sanitizers.  Supported by AFFOA
Electro Magnetic Applications, Inc. (EMA) 3-17-21 $429,000 Space Test Facility
This award will support the development of new specialized equipment for testing the reliability and compatibility of spacecraft components by Electro Magnetic Applications, Inc. (EMA). Located at the Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC), EMA will have the only facility in the world capable of both performing testing on materials in a replicated space environment, and the only facility in the world able to design and manufacture the systems capable of producing the energy sources that can replicate the space environment here on earth. Supported by NextFlex