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Dan Gamota, Vice President of the Hardware Innovation Group at Jabil Circuit Inc., was hand-selected by the NextFlex leadership team to receive the inaugural NextFlex Fellow Award. NextFlex is the U.S. government established Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute consisting of a consortium of companies, academic institutions, non-profits and state, local and federal governments with a shared goal of advancing U.S. manufacturing of FHE.
Gamota said, "It really takes the cooperation of all of the different NextFlex partners to accelerate and industrialize the development of flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing processes and it is an incredible honor to be selected as a NextFlex Fellow."
Gamota was among only seven people to receive this NextFlex award, which recognizes individuals who have made remarkable contributions to accelerating the FHE industry growth - foundational technologies, manufacturing platforms and workforce development.
It is no coincidence that Gamota and his Hardware Innovation Group team lead development of key capabilities either directly or indirectly related to FHE. In fact, in 2016 the team won the Gold award for best prototype part from the In-Mold Decorating Association for a novel FHE touch appliance interface. And this is just the beginning.
The vision for FHE is bold. Eventually, FHE will enable “electronics on everything," replacing thick, heavy & bulky devices with lightweight, low profile and stretchable devices attached directly onto surfaces such as our bodies. In the not too distant future, it will allow us to create novel commercial and defense applications we can hardly imagine today.
Dr. Malcolm Thompson, executive director for NextFlex, put the importance of this award into perspective.
"We applaud the outstanding achievements that these true FHE pioneers have made, and are making, with respect to transforming FHE into a commercially viable industry of technological innovation that will have a major impact in nearly every aspect of our lives."
That's why the NextFlex Award is so important. Working alone, it would take companies and research institutes years and huge amounts of capital to go to mass production with FHE. But thanks to industry leaders such as Gamota, the NextFlex partners hope to rapidly industrialize complex manufacturing processes for flexible hybrid electronics so that FHE can truly inspire new products and markets.