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European Textile Technology Platform – successful conference
29
Mar '10
On March 24-25, 2010 the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing held its 4th Annual Public Conference in Brussels. More than 130 participants from industry and academia from across Europe as well as representatives of the European Commission and international specialised press participated in this showcase of more than 20 national and regional textile innovation programmes and clusters from across the EU. These initiatives, many of which have been created over the last few years, complement and replicate on the national and regional level what the European Technology Platform does at EU level.

They network industry and research organisations and strongly engage with relevant public authorities for funding of collaborative research and technology transfer projects, technology roadmapping and foresight studies, education and training actions or international cooperation. In this process they raise the profile of the sector as a knowledge-based high-technology industry producing high added value products and providing quality jobs.

Speakers from the European Commission presented several schemes which provide EU funding for regional innovation programmes and projects through the EU regional and structural funds or the 7th EU Research Framework Programme. Another EU programme, the ERA-Net scheme encourages pooling of national and regional public research funds for cross-border collaborative research projects. With CrossTexNet the first such programme dedicated to textile research has recently been started. 17 national and regional research funding agencies from 11 countries incl. among other France, Italy, Germany and Spain participate in this project which will launch its first call for projects on April 30th, 2010.

Looking at the large number innovation clusters presented at the conference, Massimo Marchi, Vice-Chairman of the Governing Council of the Technology Platform said “I belief that all these initiatives demonstrate that more and more people see Collaboration as the key to our future success – collaboration between public and private stakeholders, between industry, research and public authorities, between innovation suppliers and innovation customers. Our world becomes more complex, our markets more international and fast-changing, our products and services more sophisticated and interconnected, our processes and operations more knowledge-based. It is simply not possible any more to be successful by relying only on in-house competences, on optimisation of internal processes or the illusion of a predictable traditional market.”

Also expressing satisfaction about the high level of public authority commitment to the various textile innovation initiatives, Euratex President Dr. Peter Pfneisl in his opening keynote reminded the audience that there are a number of areas where improvement is still necessary. He said “What I believe we need, to be even more successful in the future,is the following:

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