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Technology platform will help to transform
textiles industry, say Potocnik


 

With help from the Commission, Europe's textiles and clothing industry is to benefit from the creation of a technology platform, designed to make the sector more innovative and knowledge-based.

The 'European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing' was launched in Brussels on 17 December at an event featuring the Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Potocnik. Much of the preparatory work in establishing the technology platform has been carried out by the industry representative body, the Europe Apparel and Textile Organisation (Euratex).

'Today, with the launch of the technology platform, we can make a big new step in boosting the competitiveness of the European textiles and clothing industry. The 2020 vision document prepared by [Euratex] provides a sound and promising basis for the development of the textiles and clothing strategic research agenda that will transform [the] industry,' said Mr Potocnik.

The initiative will involve representatives of the textile industry, as well as those from related industries and service providers, the scientific and education community and public authorities at all levels. Together they will define a long-term vision and strategic research agenda based on research, technology and innovation.

Three guiding concepts for defending the industry's competitive position have been used to define the technology platform:
- to move from commodities towards speciality products using high-tech processes, based on nano-, micro- and biotechnologies, new coatings and laminations, digital processes, etc.;
- to establish and expand textiles as the raw material of choice in many sectors and applications (transport systems, construction, protective and medical applications, etc.);
- to move from the mass manufacture of textile products towards a new industrial era characterised by customisation, personalisation and on-demand production coupled with intelligent logistics, distribution and services.

Realising this vision will require the industry to overcome a number of constraints on its research and innovation performance, such as a general lack of resources, both human and capital, widespread fragmentation and duplication of efforts, shortcomings in translating research into innovation, and difficulties in protecting intellectual property rights.

Other more practical objectives for the platform's participants include achieving a better pooling and coordination of research and innovation efforts, developing a long-term vision and corresponding strategic research agenda, and facilitating access to innovation-enabling resources and improving innovation framework conditions.

Euratex President Filiep Libeert concluded by saying: 'I believe [that making] a success of the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing could be this industry's key contribution to the EU's Lisbon strategy [...]. I can assure you, Mr Commissioner, that growth, competitiveness and employment through increased research, development and innovation is as high on our agenda as it is on yours.'

For more information on technology platforms, please visit:
http://www.cordis.lu/technology-platforms/

 


CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities

 

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