EDANA’s Nonwovens Innovation Academy which took place from November 27-29 in Tourcoing in France ‘closed the loop’ of a seven-year cycle around European Centres of Excellence for these research-based meetings.
The 2013 edition was hosted by CETI (Centre Européen des Textiles Innovants), whose impressive €15 million investment (with the support of the EU and French and regional authorities) in what is probably one of the world’s largest and most flexible pilot plants for nonwovens and textiles could be seen by delegates during guided tours.
Since 2006, and the kick-off edition in Roubaix, France, the Nonwovens Academy has brought together around 500 delegates from a large number of academic, research and testing institutes from four continents as well as industrial companies, rotating so far between French, German, Swedish and UK centres who had the opportunity of simultaneously hosting the conference and showing their capabilities and offer for the benefits of nonwovens research and innovation.
“We are delighted with the success of this year’s Nonwovens Innovation Academy, which corresponds with one of the main aspects of EDANA’s mission to support the nonwovens and related industries, especially in the light of our Nonwovens Vision 2020, which has identified innovation as one of the key responses to challenges raised by sustainability requirements and globalisation,” said Enno Henze chair of EDANA’s Board Working Group on Innovation and Education.
“The biennial NIA is part of an on-going process,” added EDANA general manager Pierre Wiertz. “We will soon announce a brand new series of innovative features for supporting events at INDEX 14, which will include several ways to prolong this forum for the exchange of ideas and research results, and to promote fundamental understanding and knowledge of science and technologies contributing to nonwovens developments.”
Supporting students choosing to focus on research in nonwoven-related areas, and recognising excellence in those fields, is one of the NIA’s key targets.
As a result, 12 students and researchers from Europe and Asia benefited from grants to attend the Academy, and eight of them participated in a contest for the best Research and Innovation Posters.
The three winners were:
- Hamidreza Aroun, PhD Postgraduate Researcher, University of Leeds – ‘Enhanced Filter Media for Diesel Engines’.
- Birthe Lang, PhD Student, University of Leeds Nonwovens Research Group – ‘Nanofibrous Affinity Membranes for Blood Purification Containing Novel, Non-Antibody Binding Proteins’.
- Özkan Yapar, MSc Student, Tampere University of Technology Institute of Material Sciences – ‘Developing of Novel Silica-Fiber Textile And Composite Structures For Hard Tissue Engineering Applications’.
Each winner received a free trip to attend INDEX 14 (8-11 April 2014) in Geneva, and will be invited to present the status of their research in a dedicated area there.
The next edition of the NIA will be hosted in the autumn 2015 by Leeds University and its Nonwovens Research Group.