University of Georgia committed to turning ideas into innovations that drive the economy forward
“Partnerships with industry and government and across academia are critical to our capacity to create positive change. Our nation has no shortage of smart, ambitious people with brilliant new ideas. But if we want a thriving economy, producing more and better jobs, we need more of those ideas to get to market faster.”
L. Rafael Reif | President | Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT)
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense announced a new national public-private consortium, Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), which would help ensure that America stays at the leading edge of fiber science and the production of modern-day fabrics and fibers with extraordinary properties.
To establish an innovation ecosystem for cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, AFFOA is leveraging concerted efforts across government, industry and academia. The consortium is being led by MIT and includes Fortune 500 companies such as DuPont and Nike, small and mid-sized companies, and research universities, such as Cornell, the University of Michigan – and the University of Georgia.
Thanks to the research happening at UGA and across the country, the fabrics of the future will integrate sensors and other innovations to store energy, regulate temperature, monitor health, change color, and more. Defense applications include uniforms that detect threats like chemical and radioactive elements, and fabrics that are exceptionally strong, light and flame-resistant.
On campus, there are visionary thinkers at every level – from the lab to upper administration, to faculty and graduate students – and those individuals will use $5 million over five years to conduct research to advance the consortium’s mission. Associate Professor Jason Locklin has invented an anti-microbial treatment that renders medical liners and fabrics germ-free. Georgia Power Professor Sergiy Minko has developed an inexpensive way to manufacture nanofibers. These efforts and more will build the foundation of UGA’s commitment to transforming the struggling textiles industry in America.
“The University of Georgia is proud to play a role in transforming fiber and textile manufacturing in America. Participation in this outstanding public-private partnership is aligned perfectly with our heritage as a land-grant university and our strong commitment to advance economic development in the 21st century.”
Jere W. Morehead | President | University of Georgia
The AFFOA partnership is projected to lead to the creation of 50,000 American jobs over the next 10 years, and UGA’s participation underscores the quality of its research enterprise and the university’s overall commitment to turning ideas into innovations that drive America’s economy forward.
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