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April 03, 2016 | Tom Ballard

Two East TN companies, UT Knoxville part of latest manufacturing institute

Department of DefenseAt least two companies from East Tennessee and one university are among the 89 entities participating in the latest program of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

According to this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Defense, Chattanooga-based eSpin Technologies Inc. and Kingsport-based Per Vivo Labs join the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the new program named Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) that Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Friday.

AFFOA, a nonprofit founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will combine $75 million in federal funds with nearly $250 million in matching dollars. The focus of the eighth NNMI initiative is “innovative fabrics and textiles with novel properties ranging from being incredibly lightweight and flame resistant, to having exceptional strength and containing electronic sensors.”

We have previously profiled eSpin Technologies in a two-part series (Part 1 and Part 2) and Per Vivo Labs in this article.

AFFOA joins the Knoxville-based Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI) and six other federally-enabled initiatives in advanced manufacturing and innovation.

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