Next steps on Advanced Textiles
Summary of the European Alliance Against Coronavirus Daily Webinar on 20 July 2020.
In this morning session, Stéphan Verin, EuraMaterials, and Robin Oddon, Techtera, presented their recommendations for the next steps of the advanced materials and textiles sectors.
Stéphan Verin commented on the proposal done by 7 clusters, lead by AFOC, to the French Government for the national recovery plan. The ideas from which they started can be summarized as follows:
- everything is material: materials are everywhere and serve all strategic markets
- materials are at the heart of innovations to transform ideas into concrete realities
- the solutions are multi-material and therefore they must be thought in cycle for their use
- digital and ecological transitions impact the materials industry and conversely
- the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the key role of the materials processing industries
- the materials processing industries are characterized by a driving role of manufacturing SMEs/SMIs scattered throughout the national territory.
He highlighted that in this sector it is necessary to secure the sovereignty of production chains in the materials processing industry, facilitating the access to raw materials (supply chain) that can be often critical. Moreover, innovation is key to SME recovery and it is essential to encourage the emergence of new start-ups in the materials sector in order to move into a “cradle to cradle” dimension.
Talking about the perspectives and next steps the main suggestions are: (i) working groups launched by clusters, (ii) invest and develop innovation and (iii) in the medium term: rethinking industrial value chains to ensure sustainable self-sufficiency for Europe and France.
Robin Oddon from Techtera, an innovation cluster in the heart of the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region and French leader for “technical” textiles, summarized the reaction of the market to the Covid-19 crisis. The observations indicate a state of uncertainty for the companies and a slowdown of the activity. However, thanks to the agility of the industry, many companies managed to switch their productions. One important issue is the development on antiviral treatments for textiles and consumer solutions with more consideration for textile and material opportunities.
Three next steps have been identified, all supported by clusters: sustainable changes in business models, R&D developments, and partnership developments. The main lessons learned form COVD-19 is the importance of collaboration. Collaboration is the key, hence the importance of clusters and network/innovation facilitators for quick and sustainable solutions.
A recording of the session is available here.
These are the complete minutes of the meeting:
This is the presentation from the meeting: