Saltex proves high-tech textiles are on the rise
The community platform SALTEX celebrated its premiere in the trade fair quarter in Dornbirn on October 5-6, 2016. The specialised trade fair impressively demonstrated the future significance of smart textiles and fibre composites
SALTEX – Smart Textiles & Lightweight Materials had its premiere October 5 to 6, 2016 in Dornbirn, Austria. For two days, 63 renowned companies, establishments and institutions from the entire value added chain presented what the future holds in the textile sector. The trade fair management drew a positive conclusion: “We are more than satisfied with the feedback from SALTEX. Our expectations were exceeded”, says managing director Daniel Mutschlechner. In total, around 900 trade fair visitors from 13 different countries, such as Turkey, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Lithuania or Turkmenistan, attended the premiere event in Dornbirn. Representatives from companies such as BMW, Skinfit, UVEX or EDELRID also got an idea about SALTEX.
Focusing on idea generation and networking
“One goal of SALTEX was to bring together the different protagonists from the textile value added chain, from fibre to industrial production. Ideas were to be generated, networks expanded and visionaries brought together”, explains project manager Katharina Schulz. “Our discussions with exhibitors and visitors have confirmed that we are on the right track”.
Günter Grabher, from the smart textiles platform of Austria and co-initiator of SALTEX, was also satisfied with the progress of the trade fair: “My impression is absolutely positive and we are totally satisfied. We are carrying out ongoing talks with the right visitors, many of them from abroad who came to SALTEX specifically. We attend a great number of trade fairs and had not encountered this form yet”.
Professional symposium as a central element
The fifth smart textiles symposium took place on both days at the same time as SALTEX. Twenty speakers spoke about the latest developments in the areas of smart textiles and fibre composites and presented to the over 150 participants what technological innovations are to be expected in the coming years. The topics ranged from smart textiles in energy storage, integrated sensors, carbon composites, automation and textile reinforcement in construction technology to medical technology. Werner Mohl, MD, PhD, from the Medical University of Vienna was also one of the speakers: “SALTEX was a successful event. The most varied disciplines and expertise were represented and the interfaces were shown. The textile industry was brought together with various experts from other technology areas in addition to technical medical innovations. Many opinion leaders were also in attendance. Some of them who are also interested in investing.”
Numerous highlights accompanied the community platform. In the area of research, institutions presented exhibits, prototypes and current research results in a common area. The B2B cooperation exchange actively promoted exchange between the visitors and exhibitors, the company Schoeller presented the concept car Σtos from the Swiss think tank Rinspeed for the first time in Austria and the company Wolford offered exclusive tours through its headquarters in Bregenz. The Austrian cluster conference, which took place on October 5, as well as the nanotechnology workshop on October 6 were additional highlights.
New edition in two years
The next SALTEX editon will take place in two years in September 2018. “Following the successful first event, we have learned a great deal”, summarises Katharina Schulz. “We now know that a format like SALTEX is positioned just right in this region. Both when it comes to the exhibitors as well as the visitors. In 2018, we will expand the cooperation with the Dornbirn MFC and exploit the synergies even further. In addition, SALTEX will have an even greater international presence”. According to Schulz, the foundation has now been laid for the continued development of the community platform.
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