Governor Cuomo Announces $20 Million for Binghamton University to Establish New York Node of Nationwide Advanced Manufacturing Initiative

April 11, 2016

From the Office of Governor Cuomo

Binghamton University and NYS Industry Partners – including GE Global Research, Corning, Inc., Lockheed Martin, and i3 Electronics, Inc. – will lead New York node in the Department of Defense’s national "NextFlex" $75 million, five-year initiative to advance flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing

Consortium was part of region’s successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative submission – "Southern Tier Soaring" – and today’s state funding marks the first allocation from that award


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $20 million to support Binghamton University in its leading role as home to the New York node in the new NextFlex Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The Institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program, which is an initiative of the Obama Administration to support advanced manufacturing in the U.S.

The state’s $20 million commitment, which is the first allocation from the Southern Tier’s $500 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative award and matches a federal National Manufacturing Innovation Institute award announced last year by the U.S. Department of Defense, will support the retrofitting of space in the former IBM facility in Endicott, as well as specific projects and new businesses that will be utilizing the space. The first year of the program is expected to create up to 200 academic and private sector jobs, with the potential for the creation of up to 1,000 new jobs over the five years of the Flex Tech Alliance Program.

"Southern Tier Soaring is the roadmap toward a stronger economy, and the state’s $500 million award is proof that we believe in the potential of the region’s future," said Governor Cuomo. "By leading the New York node of this national initiative, Binghamton University and its private sector partners are leveraging their collective strengths and raising New York’s profile as a global leader in innovation and technology. This is a shining example of how the Upstate economy is turning around, and I look forward to seeing what it can be and will be in the years to come."

Including the $20 million award announced last year by the Department of Defense, the total federal award is $75 million over five-years, which has already attracted nearly $100 million in matching funds and additional support from non-federal sources, private companies, academia, not-for-profit organizations, and several states. Flexible electronics uses both traditional chips as well as printed electronics on plastic, thin glass, paper and fabric materials that can bend. The technology has a range of applications, including health-monitoring patches, medical devices, sensors, imaging systems, prosthetic devices, energy storage and energy harvesting devices.

The Department of Defense chose the FlexTech Alliance, of which Binghamton University is a founding proposal partner, to establish "NextFlex" as America’s first Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute. New York State played a critical role in the successful proposal, pledging up to $20 million in matching funds to support and strengthen the FlexTech proposal. The funding will help Binghamton University retrofit space at the Huron Campus in Endicott, enabling the University to attract companies like GE Global Research, Corning, Lockheed Martin and i3 Electronics to conduct research and development and create jobs in the Southern Tier, instead of outside New York State. The $20 million will be disbursed over the five-year period of the NextFlex program and will support specific Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute projects as they come to fruition.

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger, who also serves as Co-Chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, said: "The Flex Tech Alliance and Binghamton University have been leaders in the advancement of flexible electronics manufacturing for nearly a decade. This latest news is an extraordinary affirmation of the work being done by the Alliance and of the work being done by our own researchers here on campus. We want to thank our federal representatives, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Hanna for their support on this federal initiative. We also want to thank Gov. Cuomo and our state officials for supporting the $20 million New York State matching funds that were crucial to making the FlexTech application stronger and more competitive."

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said: "This administration recognizes the importance of bolstering our state’s burgeoning advanced manufacturing industry, especially in Upstate New York. By matching the federal funding for this initiative, we are supporting creative tech-based projects and increasing the amount of well-paying, innovation economy jobs in the Southern Tier and New York State."

Binghamton University and its industry partners, including General Electric Global Research, Corning Incorporated, Lockheed Martin and i3 Electronics Incorporated were uniquely positioned to have a leadership role in this National Manufacturing Innovation Institute through the establishment of a cohesive New York State node, as each partner has a strong history of developing economically relevant technologies. Additionally, additional academic partners, including Cornell University and SUNY research campuses, are expected to participate.

Together, Binghamton University and its consortium partners will work to develop and then transfer advancements in the field of flexible electronics from the lab to the commercial market. Binghamton and its industry cohorts have already experienced manufacturing successes and expect many more to result from this significant investment. Some of the successes thus far include:

  • electronic packaging and reliability;
  • thermal interface materials;
  • thin chip-on-flex electronic systems-in-package technology;
  • power conversion electronics packaging;
  • biomedical and diagnostic electronics;
  • human performance monitors; sensory systems;
  • thin flexible glass for use in flexible electronics and displays;
  • 2.5D electronic interposers and functional glass surfaces such as arrays of transparent antennas;
  • touch sensitive surfaces; and
  • energy storage and conversion.

As part of the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, the NextFlex Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation 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. In the coming months, the New York node will work closely with the NextFlex Institute to develop roadmaps and project plans; the consortium expects to begin selecting projects in Q2 2016.

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement accelerates "Southern Tier Soaring," the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.1 billion in the region since 2012 to support the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest.

Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.​

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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