College of Textiles, Raleigh, N.C., has received a donation of software valued at more than $1
million from Carlsbad, Calif.-based Alignent Software. Alignent’s Vision Strategist roadmapping
software is expected to be particularly useful for projects conducted at the college‘s Nonwovens
Cooperative Research Center (NCRC) to develop interactive technology roadmaps — all-encompassing
strategic plans developed based on predetermined goals — for the nonwovens industry.
The college notes there are a number of considerations that go into developing a technology
roadmap for nonwovens businesses. These include infrastructure, workforce and technology needs for
continued growth; as well as such issues as landfill and waste disposal problems, the need to
develop non-petroleum-based raw materials that are environmentally sustainable and multifunctional,
global competition and others.
Helmut Hergeth, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Textile and Apparel Technology and
Management Department, College of Textiles, said the roadmapping program is being set up within the
textile management area and could benefit any sector of the US textile industry, although the
medical nonwovens area seems to hold the most promise. He said proposals have been sent out in an
effort to find sponsorship for specific projects.
“Medical nonwovens is an interesting field,” Hergeth said. “It’s fairly new and growing, and
development comes from very different areas. Putting together a roadmap with input on all those
levels should be more helpful than in an industry where development comes only from one area.”
San Clemente, Calif.-based Roadmapping Professionals Inc. will provide training and startup
assistance for the project.
Under the program, textiles researchers and industry leaders will collaborate using the
roadmapping process to determine how technology can help the industry grow. They also will develop
technology and product concepts and execute a strategy to bring them to fruition. The roadmapping
software will help them manage information gathered through various inputs and generate reports
that provide an overview of the current situation, and formulate a plan for moving ahead.
February 13, 2007