Building upon the success of the previous two conferences (Berlin in 2008, Brussels in 2009), IFAI’s Advanced Textiles 2010 took place June 16–17 in Paris, France, a European—U.S. networking event that brought together 70 participants from around the world to join in 23 lectures in six themed sessions about how new technologies are inspiring new businesses and partnerships.
The Germany-based agency IHOFMANN, specializing in technical textiles and strategic industry alliances, was again the co-organizer of the third annual event, developing the concept and managing the conference. CEO Dr. Isa Hofmann said “The concept is to provide to decision makers in the complex value chain of technical textiles the right format to meet on a professional platform, getting inspiration, face-to-face contacts and networking opportunities in an inspiring ambiance. With Advanced Textiles, we want to help to initiate new cross-sector innovation projects and encourage our industry to bank on the power of innovation.”
Advanced Textiles 2010 partnered with Clubtex, the French association for the promotion of technical textiles. Clubtex’s Karine Wallois chaired the session on products and technologies for medical applications. Nine other associations and government institutions also supported the conference, including: IVGT, the German association for technical textiles; GermanFashion; BESPO Germany; ITMF, the International Textile Manufacturers Federation; the U.S. Dept. of Commerce; UIT, Union des Industries Textiles, the French association of Textile Industries; Espace Textile; the European Textile Services Association (ETSA); the European Safety Federation (ESF); and the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT).
Focusing on major applications, new technology solutions and material aspects of technical textiles, 23 penetrating lectures provided insights into applications in the areas of health care, architecture, protection and security, as well as sports and agriculture. Keynote speaker Frédérique Mutel, president and CEO of the JEC Group, France, gave an overview of global composite industry figures and trends. She noted the high growth rates for composites in Asia, especially for thermoplastics and wind energy applications.
Overall, discussions focused on global trends such as safety and protection products, not just for military and security uses but in developing commercial markets as well, sustainability and environmental concerns (including energy consumption and water management), and personal safety. Investing in technological innovation is seen as the right course for Europe and the United States.
For information on the Advanced Textiles Conference that will take place at IFAI Expo Americas 2010 in Orlando this October, visit www.ifaiexpo.com.