Submitted by Alina Danieles… on 13 January 2017

TECHTERA is the French innovation cluster for textiles and flexible materials of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, French leader of the sector. Since its creation in 2005, the cluster fosters cooperation between France and Japan in textiles. 2016 was no exception. As part of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 2014 by the French and Japanese ministries of economy, the Japan Chemical Fibers Association, and by TECHTERA, the cluster set up new actions for the textile industry between the two countries:

• January 2016: Organisation of a collective mission with a focus on business and research. 6 French companies travelled to Japan in order to discover the Japanese markets of Health, Sports and Wellbeing. 3 of them now share a common business development service in Japan with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan. The objective is to maintain the relations created during the mission and to develop their activities in the country in the long run.

• January and October 2016: Organisation of 2 technological missions in Japan. These actions were undertaken within the framework of the FIBERTRONICS Think-Tank on fibers of the future. French and Japanese research labs and companies were able to exchange views and advancements, as well as building partnerships. They also performed a scientific watch on key aspects of textile research: biotech, smart materials, nanotech, composites and new applications for textiles.

• December: Organisation of a collective mission with BUSINESS FRANCE. Ten French companies will take part in this mission that will allow them to visit key Japanese companies (UNIQLO, ASICS), to build partnerships during B2B meetings, to join the institutional working group on textiles and the French-Japanese innovation Forum.

This last event wraps up the France-Japan innovation year. Hopes are high that the new partnerships engaged throughout 2016 will even further intensify the textile cooperation between the two countries.

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