High-tech textiles – a cross-industry inspiration
From November 30 and December 1, 2017, one of the most important conventions for the European technical textile industry took place in Stuttgart, Germany: The Aachen-Dresden-Denkendorf-International Textile Conference brought together 600 professionals from 28 countries, across four continents from the textile, textile- machinery and various user-industries
Economy and research experts reported on research results and marketable textile innovations concerning high performance fibres, fibre composites and medical textiles. Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Economic Affairs Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut welcomed the international audience in the Liederhalle conference centre. “Our textile companies are no longer seen merely as consumer product manufacturers, but as suppliers of high-tech materials and products. In the automotive, engineering and medical technology industries, as well as in the construction industry, technical textiles are often the key to new concepts and products. That is why the innovative power of the textile industry is of extraordinary importance to our local economy”, said the Minister.
There’s a future for textiles, especially in a traditional textile-producing region such as Baden- Württemberg. Many noteworthy companies such as Dornier, Kelheim Fibers, ETTLIN, and solidan have their headquarters in this area, alongside one of the most important European textile research institutions: the German Institute for Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (DITF). It therefore made sense to expand the Aachen-Dresden Textile Conference, which has been organized since 2007 by textile research institutes of the regions surrounding Aachen and Dresden, with a partner from Baden-Württemberg. For this reason, the DWI- Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI) in Aachen, the Institute for Textile Machinery and Textile High-Performance Materials Technology of the TU Dresden (ITM) and the DITF have been jointly leading the International Textile Conference into the future since 2016.
Held annually at one of the three locations, the conference recently premiered in Stuttgart. Together with this year’s partner country USA, this year’s conference was characterized by trend-setting developments and upheavals in textile technology. The focus was on, among other things, additive manufacturing methods such as 3D textile printing, as well as smart textiles, which are currently being brought to the forefront by IT companies from the USA as ‘intelligent problem solvers’. Entrepreneurs from the textile and textile-machinery industries presented current developments, products and processes, especially concerning the future fields of mobility and health. Various German textile research institutes presented their longstanding know-how on these and several other ‘trend-fields’ under the umbrella of the Forschungskuratorium Textil e.V.(registered association). Under the motto “From Idea to Practice”, a transfer session presented successful, publicly-funded collaborative programs, in which products and processes were jointly developed by scientists and industry representatives and successfully implemented into the industry.
The conference was also supplemented by an exhibition by companies and institutes as well as over 100 scientific posters. Three of the posters presented were awarded the Poster Award 2017.