Boston (April 25 2016) – A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor leading a new public-private consortium to turn clothing fibers and fabrics into wearable electronic devices will be a featured speaker at Soldier Innovation Day 2016 at UMass/Lowell on Wednesday, May 11.

Professor Yoel(cq) Fink, director of MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE), is the leader of the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) Institute.  AFFOA was established to accelerate innovation in high-tech, U.S.-based manufacturing in fibers and textiles. The consortium, comprised of universities, industry, nonprofits, government organizations and the Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC), is the latest in a series of National Network for Manufacturing Innovation NMMI) public-private partnerships announced by the Obama Administration. Its selection was announced April 1 by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Professor Fink will speak about the vision and strategy for this new institute. He will address regional small businesses, industry, non-profit research labs, universities, military and civilian leaders from the U.S. Army Natick Labs’ research and development community.

The day-long conference will feature presentations on science and technology priorities, and funding for research and development, from the Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC), Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center (NSRDEC), and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM).

Soldier Innovation Day 2016 is organized by the National Defense Industrial Association’s New England Chapter with organizational support from Natick Labs’. UMass/Lowell and MassDevelopment are its sponsors. Pre-event registration is required. Go to to register and to learn more about the conference.

NDIA New England is the regional arm of the National Defense Industrial Association (, the nation’s leading defense industry association in providing a forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. It has been awarded the NDIA’s Model Chapter designation for the past two years.

For additional information, contact Harry King, NDIA New England communications director, at