Innovative Technology to Boost Local Textiles Industry

Oct 19, 2004

Over thirty local textile businesses heard leading nanotechnology experts describe how new, innovative developments in molecular scale technologies could bring significant benefits to the local textiles industry at an Invest Northern Ireland seminar in Belfast this morning.
30/9/2004

Over thirty local textile businesses heard leading nanotechnology experts describe how new, innovative developments in molecular scale technologies could bring significant benefits to the local textiles industry at an Invest Northern Ireland seminar in Belfast this morning.

The Nanotechnologies in Textiles Breakfast Seminar - organised as part of the Invest NI Foresight programme – highlighted how the application of nanotechnology to products within the textile, medical polymer and carbon fibre markets can result in improved performance and durability, giving companies a distinct competitive advantage.

Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating atoms and molecules. By studying the fundamental elements which make up textiles, plastics and other materials, researchers have improved the properties of fibres, making them stronger and more versatile. Examples unveiled at the seminar included special fibre blends seventeen times stronger than traditional fabrics, fibres with anti-odour properties, products which are fire resistant and materials with anti-microbial properties used in the manufacture of wound dressings, sutures and drug delivery devices.

Speaking at the event, John Thompson, Director of Invest NI’s Innovation, Research and Technology division said: “Invest NI is keen to promote new technologies to both Northern Ireland industry and academia. Nanotechnology or manufacturing at a molecular level, is an emerging sector which offers many opportunities for local industry to develop a competitive advantage by helping to build a knowledge-based economy.”

Nanotechnology experts at the breakfast seminar included Professor Robert Brown, Director of Nanotec NI - a joint nanotechnology research centre between the University of Ulster and Queens University Belfast, Professor Jim McLaughlin, Director of the University of Ulster Nanotechnology Research Institute and Dr Tony McNally, lecturer in materials engineering, Queens University Belfast.

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