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$75 Million for Advanced Functional Fabric

April 13, 2016

The Department of Defense has announced $75 million in funding for a national research institute, the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), emphasizing the combination of technology and textiles towards developing new materials for American textile manufactures and market places across varying industries. Drexel will chair the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the AFFOA, leading a team that includes such institutions as Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, Temple University, Philadelphia University, and the MEDstudio at Thomas Jefferson University. Genevieve Dion, Fashion Design Professor, Director of the Shima Seiki Haute Technology Lab, and AFFOA-lead, will collaborate with representatives from the College of Engineering and College of Computing & Informatics on an interdisciplinary team to develop textiles that will revolutionize their participation in the apparel, health care, electronic, architecture, and defense industries.

The AFFOA is comprised of the university leadership from 31 academic institutions including Drexel, MIT, and Cornell, industry partners such as Nike, Microsoft, Goodyear, The North Face, and Bose, as well as incubators and capital groups. Visit the AFFOA page to learn more about this new institute and to watch Professor Dion present Smart Textiles: Fashion That Responds.

Excellent coverage of this exciting news has been reported in The New York Times,, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.