CONTEXT, the international network of experts in advanced textile materials, led by AEI Tèxtils, celebrated its Final Event INCONTEXT in Prato and Florence on 23rd and 24th March.

CONTEXT had the aim to bring together European researchers, manufacturers and main relevant stakeholders in order to develop joint ideas and initiatives which can be turned into advanced smart textile products.

The first part of the event “Opportunities creation and matchmaking”,  took place in Prato, at the Prisma Conference Hall, on the 23rd.

Dr. Enrico Venturini, from Next Technology Tecnotessile, the host of INCONTEXT, opened the event, welcoming the participants.

The event started with a brief introduction of CONTEXT and its main outcomes, by the Action Chair, Dr. Ariadna Detrell, cluster Manager at AEI Tèxtils.

The session “Get inspired by textiles” started with a presentation by Sergi Artigas, Innovation Director at Leitat Technological Center, who made a speech on technology transfer and technology adoption. Next, Lutz Walter, General Secretary of the European Textile Technology Platform, presented the story of smart textiles, the complexity of the value chain, other barriers for its development and market uptake, the future trends and finally, he introduced the SmartX Community Platform. Then, Sara Casini, from Confindustria Toscana Nord and also representing the company Manifattura Maiano made the presentation: “Circularity and technical textile applications: a growing opportunity”.

After a coffee-break, the Smart Textiles Roadmap developed by CONTEXT was presented by the WG leaders and/or coleaders.

The following activity was a world café session, to discuss on the main challenges for the market uptake of smart textiles. For this, the participants were split in groups, focused on the following topics:

  • The lacks on smart textiles value chain
  • The lacks in standardization
  • Sustainability of Smart Textiles
  • Technology constraints

After a lunch, a matchmaking session was held. In order to organize the B2B meetings, the B2Match platform was used. More than 30 meetings were scheduled among the participants.

The second part of the conference, on the 24th, was held at The Social Hub Florence, and was dedicated to present smart textiles’ prototypes.

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