The new technology aims to use high-end printing technologies to create stretchable electronics that could be embedded with sensors and worn by soldiers, a defense official said, and could ultimately be used on ships or warplanes for real-time monitoring of their structural integrity.
"I've been pushing the Pentagon to think outside our five-sided box and invest in innovation here in Silicon Valley and in tech communities across the country," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. "Now we’re taking another step forward."
Apple joins a team of 162 companies, universities, and other groups that includes Boeing, Harvard, Advantest Akron Polymer Systems, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and others.
The U.S. government is contributing $75 million over five years to the effort and companies managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory will add $90 million. Local government funding brings the total to $171 million.
The Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Hub will be based in San Jose.