Team NEO to Partner with FlexTech Alliance

Team NEO to Partner with FlexTech Alliance on New Federal Initiative to Advance the Commercialization and Manufacturing of Flexible Electronics

Team NEO has been named a lead partner on a new federal initiative to advance the manufacturing and commercialization of flexible electronics in Northeast Ohio and other regions across the country. Team NEO, in partnership with Western Michigan University’s Center for the Advancement of Printed Electronics, will serve as the Midwest Node leader of the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute (FHE MII). The FHE MII will be led by San Jose-based FlexTech Alliance, a research consortium and trade association.

“We are excited to partner with FlexTech Alliance on this federal initiative that further accelerates the advancement of flexible electronics in Northeast Ohio and throughout the United States,” said Bill R. Koehler, Chief Executive Officer of Team NEO. “Team NEO has focused on flexible electronics as a key enabling technology for manufacturing growth. The FHE MII will allow our region to accelerate the manufacture, scale-up and commercialization of these innovations.”

Over the past few years, Team NEO has assembled key pieces of a strong flexible electronics value chain, taking a lead role to integrate the strengths of academic and industrial partners in the region. The co-led Midwest Node encompasses more than 32 organizations, including Team NEO’s flexible electronics cluster, FlexMatters®, as well as The University of Akron, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University and Lorain County Community College.

“FlexTech is pleased to partner with Ohio companies and universities, and Team NEO, in this new flexible hybrid electronics initiative. Substantial assets are located in the state, making Ohio a key player in technology development and commercialization,” said Michael Ciesinski, President of FlexTech Alliance.

With the region’s established flexible electronics cluster, rich legacy in materials, strong biomedical assets, and workforce development expertise at facilities such as Lorain County Community College, Northeast Ohio is well positioned to contribute to the efforts designated by the DoD. The partnership reaffirms Northeast Ohio’s national role as an essential innovation hub for advancing flexible electronics.

Northeast Ohio FHE MII activities will benefit a wide array of markets beyond defense, including wearable electronics and medical devices, by bringing together companies, universities and R&D centers to co-invest in key technology areas. The FHE MII will also provide a unique opportunity for education and training, job creation, and other forms of economic development.

The FHE MII award to FlexTech Alliance is for $75 million in federal funding over a five-year period and is being matched by more than $96 million in cost sharing from non-federal sources. Northeast Ohio companies and organizations assembled greater than $22 million in matching funds. FlexTech Alliance will distribute funds via competitively-bid project calls. Team NEO will play an integral role in assembling regional project teams whose success will bring funding to Northeast Ohio to accelerate the manufacturing and commercialization of flexible electronics.

The FHE MII is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program (NNMI), an initiative of the Obama Administration to support advanced manufacturing in the United States. Each institute is part of a growing network dedicated to securing U.S. leadership in the emerging technologies required to win the next generation of advanced manufacturing. The first Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) was founded in Youngstown, Ohio, and is now called America Makes. The FHE MII is the seventh MII announced and the fifth under DoD management.

For more information about the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute, visit

About Team NEO Team NEO is an economic development organization focused on creating jobs for Northeast Ohio’s residents. In collaboration with our partners, it leads the region’s business attraction efforts, supports business retention and expansion work as Northeast Ohio’s JobsOhio affiliate, and aligns strategies and resources within the economic development network to maximize its impact. In addition, Team NEO provides tools to assist employers in attracting talent to the region. For more information, visit and

About FlexTech Alliance FlexTech Alliance is a leading industry association focused on growth, profitability, and success throughout the manufacturing and distribution chain of flexible, printed electronics, and displays. By facilitating collaboration between and among industry, government, and academia, FlexTech Alliance develops solutions for advancing these technologies from R&D to commercialization. For more information, visit

About Western Michigan University’s Center for Advancement of Printed Electronics (CAPE) The purpose of CAPE, housed in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University, is to provide a facility for research, development and application of materials for the fabrication of flexible electronic devices on printing press. The center contributes to the advancement of the printing, paper, and electronics industries, and their suppliers through the material design and analysis, device prototyping, device testing, press engineering, press-setup, education and training. Examples of printed flexible electronic devices include sensors, organic photovoltaics, intelligent packaging, radio frequency identification devices and flexible displays.