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Thomas Jefferson University Joins White House’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation to Support Research on Functional Fabrics


Thomas Jefferson University Joins White House’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation to Support Research on Functional Fabrics

PHILADELPHIA (April 1st, 2016)– The U.S. Department of Defense, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Drexel University have tapped MEDstudio@JEFF at Thomas Jefferson University as one of 31 academic institutions to partner in a $75 million national research institute that will support American textile manufacturers in bringing sophisticated new materials and textiles to the marketplace. The institute, called Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), will be a national manufacturing resource center for industry and government to draw on the expertise of academic researchers working with new fibers, fabrics and materials and developing the technology that can integrate them into products from active wear to protective armor.

“We are delighted that Thomas Jefferson University, through MEDstudio@JEFF and the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, is a key healthcare member of AFFOA providing the network with clinical development and testing capabilities,” said Mark L. Tykocinski, MD, Provost of Thomas Jefferson University and Dean of Sidney Kimmel Medical College. “This reinforces our continuing efforts to bridge medicine with design.”

Director of MEDstudio@JEFF, Peter Lloyd Jones, PhD, commented on the partnership by saying, “At MEDstudio@JEFF, we believe that radical innovation depends upon entirely new ways of perceiving & interpreting the world around us, and this depends upon anti-disciplinary collaborations with diverse experts. My team and I are extremely proud to be a part of this groundbreaking network and to be conducting this innovative work at Sidney Kimmel Medical College.”

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter formally recognized AFFOA as one of the White House’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (NNMI) in a ceremony at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today. Through public and private efforts, the NNMI initiative has garnered more than $300 million to boost the value of American-made products on the international market, by using new materials and manufacturing methods.

Through its dynamic network, AFFOA partners will collectively catalyze innovation, relationships with industry, and all aspects of product, process and systems design from ideation to mass production. The government hopes the initiative will create thousands of new jobs in the American workforce. “We are forming an entirely new system and mental model, and one that will help drive the US economy while significantly improving the lives of patients,” said Jones.

The AFFOA group includes the likes of Cornell University, The Ohio State University, University of Michigan and University of California – Davis. It counts 16 companies as industry partners, including NIKE, Microsoft, Good Year, The North Face, Bose and Medtronic. In addition, 26 start-up incubators and venture capital groups, including Angel Capital Associations, Westbury Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners have pledged support to AFFOA.

Thomas Jefferson University’s MEDstudio@JEFF is part of a mid-Atlantic research hub led by Drexel University that links research institutions including Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, Temple University, at Philadelphia University and the University of Delaware to manufacturing and investment partners DuPont, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeast Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia Office of Manufacturing and Industry and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

The mid-Atlantic cohort will lead investigations into modeling, designing and predicting the utility of new fibers, yarns and materials, as well as using those new materials to build prototypes of functional fabrics for apparel, healthcare, transportation, consumer electronics, architecture, and the defense industry.


About Jefferson

Our newly formed organization, Jefferson, encompasses Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, representing our academic and clinical entities. Together, the people of Jefferson, 19,000 strong, provide the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educate the health professionals of tomorrow, and discover new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.

Jefferson Health comprises five hospitals, 17 outpatient and urgent care locations, as well as physician practices and everywhere we deliver care throughout the city and suburbs across Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pa., and Camden County in New Jersey. Together, these facilities serve nearly 73,000 inpatients, 239,000 emergency patients and 1.7 million outpatient visits annually. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia.  Abington Hospital – Jefferson Health is the largest community teaching hospital in Montgomery or Bucks counties. Other hospitals include Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; and Abington Lansdale Hospital – Jefferson Health in Hatfield Township.

Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,800 future physicians, scientists, nurses and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), Jefferson Colleges of Biomedical Sciences, Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health and is home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

For more information and a complete listing of Jefferson services and locations, visit