Skip to Content

U Participates in National ‘Smart’ Fabrics Initiative

mit experimental threads

The University of Minnesota is fast becoming a leader in the field of wearable technologies and smart fabrics. Pioneering researchers have been laying the groundwork in developing wearable electronics, including this recent multi-disciplinary collaboration to treat tinnitus, a vexing brain condition, with a flexible, electronic patch.

Now, the University of Minnesota is part of a $317 million public-private partnership to develop the next generation of “smart” fabrics and fibers that incorporate technology to create innovative new tools and products in a range of high tech fields, from medical devices to transportation to consumer products and smart clothing.

The partnership, named Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), will be led by MIT and includes dozens of academic and industry partners. Mechanical engineering professor David Pui and assistant professor Julianna Abel from the U’s College of Science and Engineering are lead researchers for the initiative at the U of M. Abel was hired in the fall 2014 as part of the state-funded MnDRIVE, Minnesota’s Discovery, Research and Innovation Economy, initiative. One of the focus areas of MnDRIVE is robotics, sensors and advanced manufacturing.

Erin Dennis

Erin Dennis

Erin is assistant communications director for the Office of the Vice President for Research and senior editor of Inquiry. 

edennis@umn.edu

Latest Blog Posts

Oak tree in a sunny field

Hyperspectral imaging may provide a quicker and more accurate way to detect trees infected with oak wilt and inform efforts to stanch the disease's spread.

Read More
Adults sitting wearing traditional costumes and children wearing school uniforms

A sizable gap in indigenous language fluency and traditional practices has opened up between teenage students and their parents in Papua New Guinea.

Read More
Multitude of blue butterflies with a single orange butterfly atop them

Through nearly $15 million in Templeton Foundation funding, a new international cohort program led by a UMN philosophy researcher aims to explore purposive-looking behavior in living systems.

Read More
Graphic reading Innovation Impact Case Award

The new Innovation Impact Case Award celebrates work that solves challenges and benefits individuals, organizations, and communities.

Read More
Categories: