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William Lee's project gets £4 mn to boost UK textile industry

26
Apr '06
William Lee Innovation Centre (WLIC) under University of Manchester has been able to secure £4 million to launch a new project to help the UK textiles industry regain its competitive edge over foreign markets.

The Knowledge 4 Innovation (K4I) project will seek to address the structural and economic impact of high-volume production overseas through technology and innovation.

K4I will aim at equipping Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME)s with skills and knowledge which will help them to utilise new technologies.

It also intends to develop a series of niche textile technologies for use in medical, automotive and sports industries.

Today's need for textile businesses to compete is to aim at functionality and innovation rather than price, said Dr Tilak Dias, Head of William Lee Innovation Centre.

Need of the hour for SMEs is to seize new opportunities in global markets through technology and innovation, which
this project helps in achieving by instilling required knowledge and skills.

Work has already begun on development of electronic fabrics and a pioneering system for creating made to measure bandages to treat venous ulcers besides other projects.

K4I will also develop training micro-modules and a digital web portal of multidisciplinary material which will act as a knowledge bank for SME textiles companies.

The project will also support textile SMEs by making them knowledgeable through technology innovation process.

K4I's work was highlighted at Technical Textiles, The Innovative Approach, conference held at Manchester Conference Centre (UK) on April 24th and 25th 2006.

The project is funded through the European Union's European Social Fund.


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