All Press Releases for April 05, 2016

Brrr!, Inc. Part of Federal Funding Win Backed by Department of Defense

Brrr! Part of Initiative Receiving $317 Million for Creation of Institute Designed to Accelerate Innovation in High-Tech, U.S.-Based Manufacturing Involving Fibers and Textiles

That expression is now for the first time, as Brrr!'s co-founders strongly believe, poised to undergo a profound transformation -- the dawn of a "fabric revolution."

    ATLANTA, GA, April 05, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- An independent nonprofit founded by MIT has been selected to run a new, $317 million public-private partnership announced Friday by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. The partnership, named the Advanced Functional Fibers of America (AFFOA) Institute of which Brrr!, Inc. is a charter member, has won a national competition for federal funding to create the latest Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The institute is designed to accelerate innovation in high-tech, U.S.-based manufacturing involving fibers and textiles.

Professor Yoel Fink, director of MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE), led the proposal for the institute. Spread across 27 states and Puerto Rico, the partnership includes 32 universities, 16 industry members, 72 manufacturing entities, and 26 startup incubators. Companies such as Warwick Mills, NextFlex, Dupont, Steelcase, Nike, and Corning are among the industry partners who will be members of the partnership. Among the academic partners are the University of Georgia, Drexel University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Texas at Austin. Brrr! is one of the 16 industry members.

This is the eighth Manufacturing Innovation Institute established to date. The headquarters will be established in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in proximity to the MIT campus and its U.S. Army-funded Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology and the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center. Fink says that this unique partnership has the potential to create a whole new industry, based on breakthroughs in fiber materials and manufacturing. These new fibers and the fabrics made from them will have the ability to see, hear, and sense their surroundings; monitor health; control temperature; communicate; store and convert energy; and change their color.

The new initiative will receive $75 million in federal funding out of a total of $317 million through cost sharing among the Department of Defense, industrial partners, venture capitalists, nonprofits, universities, 27 states and Puerto Rico. The initial funding will cover a five-year period and will be administered through the new, independent, nonprofit organization set up for the purpose. The partnership, focusing on both developing new technologies and training the workforce needed to operate and maintain these production systems, will also include a network of community colleges and experts in career and technical education for manufacturing.

For thousands of years, humans have used fabrics to provide basic warmth and aesthetics. Clothing represents "one of the most ancient forms of human expression," Fink says. That expression is now for the first time, as Brrr!'s co-founders strongly believe, poised to undergo a profound transformation -- the dawn of a "fabric revolution." The desire to be a part of this revolution has always been a part of Brrr!'s core mission. New technology is making it possible to integrate many materials and complex functional structures into a fabric's very fibers, and to create fiber-based devices and functional fabric systems.

Through AFFOA, innovators across the country will be invited to execute "advanced fabric" products on prototyping and pilot scales. The center will link these innovators with funding from large companies and venture capital investors in order to execute their ideas through the manufacturing stage. The center will thus lower the barrier to innovation and unleash product creativity in this new domain.

For the new institute, the federal selection process was administered by the U.S. Department of Defense's Manufacturing Technology Program and the U.S. Army's Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and Contracting Command in New Jersey. The position of Chairman of the AFFOA Institute will be filled by Retired Gen. Paul J. Kern. He states, regarding the creation of the institute, the aim is to ensure "that America leads in the manufacturing of new products from leading edge innovations in fiber science, commercializing fibers and textiles with extraordinary properties. Known as technical textiles, these modern day fabrics and fibers boast novel properties ranging from being incredibly lightweight and flame resistant, to having exceptional strength."

About Brrr!
Brrr! is an Atlanta-based, women-owned, textile technology startup leading the textile revolution through their permanently cooling fabrics and groundbreaking fiber innovation. Brrr! will bring wearable technology to everyday lives through a focus on licensing to some of the world's most recognized brands under the Brrr! trademark.  For more information, visit

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Laura Patton
Brrr!, Inc.
Atlanta, Georgia
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