5 textile SMEs have started partnerships to develop smart textiles thanks to AEI Tèxtils’ cluster


Smart textiles are a major opportunity for textile SMEs to launch high added value products and to increase their competitiveness. However, its development requires expertise outside the textile domain, particularly in electronics and data processing.

AEI Tèxtils is leading the European network CONTEXT which aims to bridge the gap between research and industry and connect cross-sectoral innovation. Thanks to this network, the cluster can facilitate the matchmaking of needs between its members and the CONTEXT network experts.

5 cluster members, with ambitions to enter this domain, have identified partners thanks to the support from the cluster that led to the development of innovation projects to prototype functional demonstrators.

Marc Ponsa, CEO of ETISILK, considers the support of the cluster vital to identify the right partners and funding opportunities. His enthusiasm for horse-riding and his experience in the textile industry have propelled his interest to develop a smart textile solution that merges both passions.

Ricard Cima, CEO of E. CIMA, is proud of the support of AEI Tèxtils to identify a technology provider to develop smart textiles with which the company has established a long-term collaboration. E. CIMA has always strived to be at the forefront of innovation.

C.P. ALUART, led by Pol Aluart, is working with a regular collaborator of the cluster, Dr. Daniela Zavec, who is providing her expertise on smart textiles to develop a smart work wear.

Manufacturas Arpe, led by Joan Pera, developed a new generation of face masks using smart textiles. The know-how acquired during the process will facilitate the uptake of technology to transform ARPE’s products into smart.

Lastly, Salvador Aymerich, General Manager of CINPASA, finds critical the cluster support received to reach the current point where CINPASA is implementing two prototyping and demonstration projects to make smart tapes and revolutionize the sector into high added value materials.

Currently, those companies are starting the market scaleup and launch, and others are following to increase their added value. The final products will be showcased during Techtextil 2022 at AEI Tèxtils booth.

In order to increase the knowledge on market and technological trends about smart textiles, to upgrade their skills and better support its members, part of the cluster staff is participating at the European Masterclass “Innovating in Smart Textiles”, organized by the Textile ETP and the Slovenian company Titera.

Furthermore, the cluster has engaged seven of its members that are also participating in the masterclass.

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AEI Tèxtils fosters the circular economy in the advanced textiles materials’ sector

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AEI Tèxtils has started the TEX-r-HUB project (a hub for recycling textiles for technical use in Catalonia), co-funded by the Waste Agency of Catalonia within the framework of the Promotion of the Circular Economy program. The aim of the project is to develop a sectoral study to promote the circular economy in the advanced textile materials sector in Catalonia, connecting companies in the ecosystem to facilitate the circularity of the sector.

The project aims to generate a circularity boost for the sector, mainly composed of SMEs, as new opportunities will be seeded for them to contribute to the reduction of environmental impact. The existence of a sectoral hub focused on textile recycling allows companies to manage their surplus more efficiently, to share knowledge, etc.

The first sept will be the development of a database of companies and stakeholders involved in the recycling value chain of advanced textile materials, identifying their technical recycling capabilities and their existing challenges for scaleup and growth.

Then, the cluster will invite the stakeholders to a series of co-creation sessions in order to develop a long-term strategy and workplan to scale the network into a recycling hub. The result will be a technical and economic feasibility study of the solutions proposed by the hub in Catalonia.

AEI Tèxtils has previously implemented several projects related circular economy, co-funded by previous calls from the same program of the Catalan Waste Agency.

TEX-r-HUB is the next step in the green transition with a clear sectoral orientation in developing a tool for companies to facilitate recycling.

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