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Promoting European collaboration on functional textiles

An EU-funded project brought together innovation actors from 16 European countries to boost collaboration between research centres and the industry. The main goal was to facilitate rapid adoption of innovative functional textile structures and textile-related materials.
Promoting European collaboration on functional textiles
The EU-funded project 2BFUNTEX (Boosting collaboration between research centres and industry to enhance rapid industrial uptake of innovative functional textile structures and textile related materials in a mondial market) was initiated to identify gaps and eliminate barriers holding back research ideas and technologies regarding materials with new functionalities and improved performance from seeing widespread adoption in industry.

In an effort to define joint research projects and actions in the field, eight multidisciplinary teams were set up, enhancing effective technology transfer on functional materials between research institutes and the industry. The technology-market combinations included antimicrobial textiles, biotechnologies, electrospinning, flame retardancy, nanotechnologies, plasma, smart textiles and sustainable textiles. Each team was led by a research and an industrial team leader seeking to identify gaps between existing technologies and medium- to long-term industry needs.

Project members developed a promising innovation platform to gather all information on technologies, projects, training materials and events related to functional textile materials. This free Open Innovation Platform is intended to foster innovation in textile companies and enforce links with European research centres. Based on the information gathered in the inventory, researchers from academia and industry were invited to participate in research projects aimed at the development of new industrial products based on functional materials.

An industrial advisory board representing companies was set up to validate the strategy and progress of the project and provide further information on industry needs. Members gave keynote presentations on future markets for functional textiles, some solutions regarding textile auxiliary formulations and the use of functional textiles in medical applications.

Using modern database tools such as relational bibliometrics, science mapping, network analysis, research portfolios, important statistic results on strategic position, scenarios, roadmaps and emerging technologies in the field of functional textiles were presented.

2BFUNTEX organised six workshops for examining different possible scenarios for the future of functional textiles. These future-thinking workshops led to the development of concrete action plans for the multidisciplinary teams.

The project's dissemination achievements include the development of relevant modular courses to be used both for higher education and industrial training purposes. Furthermore posters, leaflets and newsletters were prepared and widely distributed. The project activities also resulted in conferences/workshops and publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Related information


Functional textiles, 2BFUNTEX, technology transfer, Open Innovation Platform, smart textiles, nanotechnologies, antimicrobial textiles, sustainable textiles, electrospinning, plasma, flame retardancy, biotechnologies
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