BRUSSELS - Issues surrounding sustainability were a key focus of the recent Nonwovens Innovation Academy 2019, which took place at the DITF (Deutsche Institut für Textil and Faserforschung) in Denkendorf.

Over 100 R&D and innovation managers, product developers, researchers and students from Europe to the Middle East, India and North America gathered for an intense conference programme and networking.

Seeking inspiration and sharing knowledge to create new solutions and improve current applications were the main drivers for participants with the conference programme covering the industry’s topical issues under the following themes: nonwovens technologies, materials and recycling, spinning technologies, medical developments and innovative applications.

Eighteen researchers and students presented academic posters in the networking area to the delegates and a jury of experts. Two research projects won the contest and will receive a grant to visit the INDEX 20, the leading nonwovens exhibition taking place 31st March - 3rd April 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The winners of the poster contest were: Michael Philipps, University of Leeds, with his research on “Nonwoven-Reinforced Elastomers for Repair and Regeneration of Soft Tissue’’; and Siddharth Shukla, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, with his research on “Micro-Structural Analysis of Absorptive Glass Mat (AGM) Nonwoven Separators Via X-Ray Computed Tomography Analysis”.


The Innovation Roundtables, a new feature of the NIA, were enthusiastically received by all participants. They allowed small groups of attendees to discuss a broad range of product innovation challenges with innovation experts.

“To sum it up, a perfectly organized event – a highly informative program and an excellent networking opportunity,” said Anja Waldeck, Speciality Papers Europe, SWM.

“A very interesting conference covering both fundamental research and the applicability in several applications with a strong focus on sustainability. Also very interesting for building networks between the industry and different academic parties,” said Davy Goossens, Market and Product Development Manager, Beaulieu Fibres International.

“It was a great experience and a nice event. I met a lot of new people, whom I am sure I will meet again. The research posters and presentations were of great interest,” added Robert Groten, Professor, University of Niederrhein, Germany.

“The EDANA NIA was a great experience for me. Since I have only just joined the nonwovens community, it was a great opportunity to learn about the different technologies and applications. With its familiar setting, EDANA makes networking with other nonwovens experts really easy,” said Julia Kronawitt, Advanced Scientist, Hollingsworth & Vose.

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