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CLEVERTEX — Result In Brief

Project ID: 517006
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: France

Textiles with IQ

An in-depth European investigation has outlined how smart textiles should be changing the pattern of daily life into the middle of this decade.
Textiles with IQ
A world where clothes, and household and office furnishings possess sensory perception and a range of appropriate outputs is no longer fantasy. Integrating an intelligent element into materials has already become a reality and is a fast-expanding sector.

Aware of the needs of manufacturers and researchers in a relatively new industry like smart textiles, the EU-funded Clevertex project aimed to set out a master plan and framework for potential stakeholders. Clevertex achieved this by studying the overall clever textiles knowledge base in Europe and then set out a roadmap to create a dynamic, sustainable sector by the year 2015.

Clevertex took socioeconomic influences surrounding the textile and clothing industry into account. Using the Delphi method and forecasts from a structured group of experts, the consortium strategically analysed the status quo and the future for clever textiles. A subsequent gap analysis identified the gaps in research and development (R&D) between the needs of the market and the ongoing research.

The roadmap identifies several significant features in the future clever textile market. Conductive materials are expected to transform traditional textile and apparel products into lightweight, wireless, wearable computing devices, particularly in the interior textile industry. For the health sector in particular, sensors and actuators are anticipated to be incorporated in all textiles, a classic example being sweat analysis.

Advanced polymers for the clothing sector will allow micro-encapsulation of small particles in the material for release, adding a fragrance or therapeutic materials perhaps. As for the building industry, clever materials would be most likely restricted to those generating energy and power supply.

Application areas for Clevertex research promises to affect many industrial sectors and impinge on most aspects of daily life. Ranging from medical and health, construction and building, clothing and home and improved human performance, smart materials are going to have a major impact.

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