ROSEVILLE, Minn. — July 19, 2010 — Building on the success of the first two IFAI Advanced
Textiles conferences (in Berlin and Brussels), IFAI presented a third successful edition in Paris
16-17 June, in the modern Congress facilities of UICP (right next to the Eiffel Tower).
The Industrial Fabrics Association International hosted 70 participants from Europe and the
U.S. at the 2010 conference, which focused on major applications of technical textiles and
investigated new technology solutions and material aspects. Twenty-three exciting lectures gave
insights into interesting applications in the areas of medical, architecture, protection and
security; as well as sports and agriculture.
Two prominent keynote speakers set the tone for the exciting developments within this growing
industry. Frédérique Mutel, President and CEO of JEC Group, France, gave an outstanding overview of
the global composite industry figures and trends. JEC has been the lobbying platform for the
international composites industry for 50 years; and boasts a network of 250,000 professionals
The composites industry today accounts for about 55,000 jobs worldwide and is a 60 billion
Euro business. Mutel revealed high growth rates for composites in Asia and especially for
thermoplastics and wind energy applications.
The second distinguished keynote speaker was Kim Glas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of
Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, who presented an interesting overview of U.S.
advancements in protective and medical textile applications. “The U.S. and European advanced
textile manufacturers are leaders in innovation, performance and quality,” Glas assessed. “The
major areas for research and development into advanced textiles are engineered polymers and fibers,
lightweight composite materials, air permeability and breathability, FR and chemical and biological
protection,” she said.
A session covering “Natural fibres and fibre composites for various industrial applications,”
was presented by Loek de Vries, President and CEO of Royal TenCate, the Netherlands. TenCate’s
development during the last 10 years is a paradigm for innovation and how to cope with the
challenges of changing markets.
De Vries’ visionary presentation was geared to innovations in fibre-reinforced composites. He
demonstrated that the permanent drive toward innovation is a truly strategic alignment that
generates growth and prosperity. He also highlighted global trends such applications as safety and
protection, sustainability and environment; and corresponding market themes such as the reduction
of energy consumption, water management, environmental protection and personal safety.
The session entitled “Performance textiles in sports, wellness, health and care” was presented by
Philippe Courtenay, Head of Sourcing Apparel, Adidas, who outlined Adidas’ new concepts in active
sports and personal training. Adidas was the main sponsor of the world football competition in
South Africa. Courtenay leads a team of 500 people located in 15 countries sourcing 300 million
garments per year.
Among the other excellent speakers were Dr. Liz Mallen from Dow Corning Ltd., UK, who
introduced a brand new active protection system; Dr. Bodo Wixmerten from Huntsman Advanced
Materials GmbH in Switzerland; as well as Gordian Overschmidt, Managing Director Zendome GmbH,
Presentations were also given by representatives from Rettenmaier and Archema in France,
Ferrari Textiles and Cousin Biotech, France; Daimler AG and Freudenberg Research Services, Germany;
as well as the well-known research institute Denkendorf and university Dresden.
IFAI Advanced Textiles ’10 partnered with CLUBTEX, the French association for the promotion
of the technical textiles conference. Karine Wallois from CLUBTEX chaired the session on products
and technologies for medical applications. Nine other associations and government institutions also
supported the conference:
- IVGT, the German association for technical textiles
- GermanFashion, BESPO Germany
- ITMF, the International Textile Manufacturers Federation,
- U.S. Department of Commerce
- UIT, Union des Industries Textiles, the French Association of Textile Industries
- Espace Textile
- European Textile Services Association (ETSA)
- European Safety Federation (ESF)
- Association of Italian Textile Machinery (ACIMIT)
Norafin and Bluestar Silicones were the 2010 sponsoring companies for the conference.
According to IFAI President and CEO Stephen Warner, “IFAI’s Advanced Textiles conference
gives voice to the new spirit and game-changing technologies in the textile industry. IFAI’s
mission is to inspire you, and we bring the network and knowledge together which showcases
future-looking experts in the field of technical textiles.”
Posted on July 20, 2010
Press Release Courtesy of IFAI