State invests millions in fiber hub hopes

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BOSTON — Massachusetts is making another down payment on its effort to become a hub of futuristic fibers.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has announced a $3.9 million grant to support the second phase of research and development at the Defense Fabric Discovery Center.

The research hub opened in October.

The award follows an initial $2.2 million dollar grant in May and brings the state's investment to the partnership between MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center to $6.1 million.

The U.S. Defense Department last year tapped Massachusetts to host a $317 million futuristic textiles manufacturing center with a goal of developing cutting-edge fabrics with a range of unusual properties, from being incredibly lightweight and flame-resistant to exceptionally strong or containing electronic sensors.

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