Access to High-Tech Equipment and Research Expertise.
With support from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and three Manufacturing USA Institutes - Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) and Flexible Hybrid Electronics (NextFlex) - with Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) as a contributor, UMass Lowell opened the Fabric Discovery Center (FDC) in July 2018.
The goals of the FDC are to drive innovation in functional fabrics, boost economic competitiveness and create more high paying jobs in the region.
Available to startups, small businesses and large companies, the 28,000 square foot, two and a half floor research center located in a renovated mill building at 110 Canal Street in Lowell inspires creativity and innovation.
You'll find high-tech equipment, a Fashion Makerspace, the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation Center and UMass Lowell research expertise.
FDC's capabilities give you what you need to kick-start or speed up innovation in the exciting areas of:
- Smart Fabrics and Textiles - Sophisticated fabrics that incorporate sensors and technology to help industries, hospitals, the military and consumers.
- Flexible Hybrid Electronics - Flexible, stretchable, conformal, wearable microelectronic devices.
- Human-Robot Interaction - Test and evaluation facility for wearable, mobile and manipulator robots used in industrial manufacturing environment.
- Assistive and Sensing Technology – Collect data to measure and enhance human performance.
With easy access for industry partners, faculty and students, 110 Canal also houses the Innovation Hub (iHub), a co-working/incubator space, and the Massachusetts Medical Device Development (M2D2) incubator.
Companies can use the offices, meeting rooms, informal café meeting spaces, and programming at 110 Canal to network and transform new ideas into practical products.
For more information please contact us.
Training the Workforce on Advanced Manufacturing
UMass Lowell hosts specialized hands-on training in the Fabric Discovery Center at 110 Canal Street in Lowell to prepare people for higher paying jobs in the region. Professionally staffed, the Center trains future workers on advanced manufacturing equipment that creates wearable electronics, protective and performance clothing and medical textiles.
The training is personalized to target to various groups, from STEM in K-12 students to providing manufacturing skills to high school and associates degree graduates, to providing manufacturing and design skills to bachelors, masters and doctoral graduates.
UMass Lowell’s well established co-op and career office connects many bachelor's and graduate students to companies who need trained employees.