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UK CAER ventures with AFFOA to accelerate fibre innovation
06
Jun '16
Courtesy- University of Kentucky
Courtesy- University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has been selected to participate in a $317 million public private partnership that has named the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute as the manufacturing innovation institute by US secretary of defense.

AFFOA is designed to accelerate innovation in high-tech, US based manufacturing involving fibres and textiles. The partnership includes 32 universities, 16 industry members, 72 manufacturing entities, and 26 startup incubators, spread across 27 states and Puerto Rico.

The partnership will focus on the development of new technologies through research and innovation and a network of community colleges and technical education experts to ensure necessary workforce development.

“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with some of the nation's leading fibre and textile manufacturers to advance the next generation of functional materials. This funding confirms what we have known at CAER for quite a while that our fibre production capabilities is at the forefront in fibre research and development technology, helping advance manufacturing in Kentucky and across the nation,” said Rodney Andrews, director of the UK Center for Applied Energy Research.

The new initiative will receive $75 million in department of defense funding with $242 million in additional funding coming from industrial partners, venture capitalists, universities, non-profits and states.

UK CAER's unique 100 foot long fibre spinning line produces multifilament, continuous tow yarns. The line was designed to help provide solutions to the complex issues facing the fibre spinning industry, especially carbon fibre and multifunctional fibres. 

“Our spinline has made some very promising advances. We have developed the capability to continuously process hollow and multi-core fibres, which will pave the way for the future development of multifunctional fibres,” said Matt Weisenberger, associate director. (NA)

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