Europe outlining strategies to enhance smart textiles sector

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2017-01-19 11:00:00 – Lille

The two day ongoing 7th edition of Futex conference is being held in Lille, France which is dedicated to sharing ideas on interactive textiles for the sports, health and housing sector. Speaking on the opening day of Futex 2017, the EC’s Dr Andreas Lymberis discussed the key challenges in developing market-ready smart textiles within the EU.

Lymberis tod the delegates that the European Commission has really began its work in developing textiles for the future in the early 2000s. Since then, they have invested a total of 44 million Euros into hundreds of smart textile prototypes and projects. But it is important to have a strategy in place to then bring these prototypes to the market.

Europe also needs to better address regulatory framework conditions such as product safety, certification and testing, because that will provide a clearer pathway between the lab and the shop floor.

However, it can often be difficult to implement such frameworks at a European level, so it’s something they at the EC need to work on, he added.

The European Commission (EC) to help improve the competitiveness of Europe’s smart textiles sector has outlined a number of strategies. It has been suggested that stronger regulatory frameworks for developing functional fabrics and more investment in lab-stage innovations will allow the

EC to compete with the US and Asian markets.

As the global wearables market is expected to be worth US$70 billion by 2025, Europe needs to tap into the growth path by investing more in innovation hubs and development clusters across the continent. This will help boost awareness and employment within the market.

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