01 Apr 16. DoD Announces Award of New Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Hub Lead in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As part of the Department of Defense effort to partner with the private sector and academia to ensure the United States continues to lead in the new frontiers of manufacturing, today Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will announce that a leading consortium of 89 universities, manufacturers, and non-profits organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will spearhead a new manufacturing innovation institute in partnership with the Department of Defense to secure U.S. leadership in revolutionary fibers and textiles manufacturing.
Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Alliance, a new non-profit research and development consortium comprised of partners from industry, academia and state governments has been selected to lead this effort following a highly competitive nationwide bid process. The agreement will be managed by U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey Emerging Technologies contracting center and combines $75m in DoD funds and nearly $250m in cost sharing from non-federal investments for a total of over $317m.
The institute will bring together nontraditional partners to integrate fibers and yarns with integrated circuits, LEDs, solar cells, and other capabilities to create textiles and fabrics that can see, hear, sense, communicate, store energy, regulate temperature, monitor health, change color, and more.
For example, the institute will pair the likes of leading audio equipment maker Bose, computer chip maker Intel, and nanofiber manufacturer FibeRio with textile manufacturers and textile users like Warwick Mills, Buhler Yarns, and New Balance. In doing so, the institute will accelerate technology transfer to enable revolutionary defense and commercial applications such as shelters with power generation and storage capacity built into the fabric, ultra-efficient, energy-saving filters for vehicles, and uniforms that can regulate temperature and detect threats like chemical and radioactive elements in order to warn warfighters and first responders. The combination of novel properties such as exceptional strength, flame resistance, reduced weight and electrical conductivity through this institute will lead to significant advancements in this industry.
This new institute is the sixth manufacturing hub to be awarded by the Obama administration through the Department of Defense, and the second announced personally by Secretary Carter who continues to drive innovation and build bridges across public and private sectors to ensure the U.S. military has access to the best technology for decades to come.
31 Mar 16. Halting Islamic State’s Nuclear Goals at Center of Obama Summit. After a spate of terrorist attacks from Europe to Africa, President Barack Obama will rally international support during a summit in Washington for an effort to keep Islamic State and similar groups from obtaining nuclear material and other weapons of mass destruction.
Obama’s Friday session at the Nuclear Security Summit comes after investigators into Islamic State’s attacks last year in Paris found surveillance footage of a senior official at the Nuclear Research Center in Belgium, the nation where 32 victims were killed in another round of terrorist attacks on March 22. The group has used chlorine and possibly mustard gas in attacks in Iraq and Syria.
Islamic State leaders have the intent to use any weapon they can to murder or create fear, according to a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity. While the official said the group doesn’t currently have the capability to deploy nuclear or radiological weapons, security experts say the detonation of a “dirty bomb” filled with radioactive material would require a costly cleanup even if fatalities were limited.
“Terrorists getting a dirty bomb or nuclear device is the n