by Prof. Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University, U.S.A.
The government of India launched its five-year national mission on technical textiles to boost the growth of the nascent nonwovens and specialty textiles sector, as of Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. The plan has an outlay of U.S. $45 million, with the time frame from 2011-2015. The announcement was made by Rita Menon, India’s Textile Secretary, in an event jointly organized by the Ministry of Textiles, India and the trade body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi.
Under the plan there are two missions. Mission I will focus on establishing four new centers of excellence to enhance R&D capabilities in India. The four centers planned are nonwovens, composites, indutech and sportech. Each center will be given a maximum of U.S. $5.45 million. Mission II will focus on marketing aspects, to boost both domestic consumption and export opportunities.
The hope is that funds will be disbursed soon to allow projects to begin as early as April this year. A conference has been convened for interested parties by the Office of Textile Commissioner, to be held in Mumbai on January 25th.
The mission opens up opportunities for fiber producers, consultants and machinery manufacturers. The mission will explore uses and applications for all sorts of fibers, such as cotton, recycled fibers and processes in developing products, and will help to build a strong knowledge base through contract R&D at different institutes.