In the ‘Sustainability’ category, a Techtextil Innovation Award went to a working group comprising Comfil (Denmark), Chemosvit Fibrochem (Slovakia), the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT (Germany), the Technical University of Denmark and Centexbel (Belgium) for BIO4SELF, fully bio-based, self-reinforced polymer composites based on PLA fibres. These composites can be used in the fields of automobile manufacturing, the sports industry and medical technology. Moreover, they contribute to the sustainable development goals defined by the United Nations by promoting the transition to an inclusive green economy.
The second award in the sustainability category went to PICASSO, a joint venture of Portuguese project partners for the development of a coloration and functionalization process for garments based on natural extracts from residues and/or species of mushrooms and plants, as well as enzymes. The project partners are the Centre for Nanotechnology and Smart Materials (CeNTI), the Tintex sustainable textiles company, spice and herb producer Ervital, biotech company Bioinvitro Biotecnologia and the CITEVE textile technology centre.
The international jury was particularly impressed by two projects in the ‘New Technology’ category: Robert Bosch GmbH and H. Stoll AG were presented with the Techtextil Innovation Award for a knitted sensor glove. The seamless, 3D flat-knitted glove is made of sensor yarn and offers the wearer sensory and control functions on all fingers, e.g., for operating interfaces in man-machine interaction, for movement control in relation to augmented and virtual-reality applications or rehabilitation purposes in a medical setting. The glove provides the same level of wearing comfort as a conventional glove.
The second award in this category went to Germany’s Northwest Textile Research Centre for its ‘Textile Mining’ project, a functional textile that enables, for example, companies from the metal industry to recycle and recover noble metals, such as gold, platinum and palladium, from industrial waste water. Against the background of a growing shortage of raw materials, industrial waste water is, alongside electrical waste, an important source of noble metals and, therefore, ‘urban mining’, i.e., separating and recovering raw materials from existing resources in urban settings. Other project partners: Kayser Filtertech, Setex-Textilveredlung, Cornelsen Umwelttechnologie, Unimicron Germany and Wieland Edelmetalle (all from Germany).
In the ‘New Application’ category, the awards went to the German Institutes for Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF) and Beira Interior University (DCTT) in Portugal. DITF have developed a space-saving inductive charging coil for hybrid and electric vehicles. Due to a lack of space under most vehicles, it has been very difficult to install inductive charging coils to permit linear scaling of the coil area and thus maintain the equal power density necessary for charging larger batteries. DITF use high-tech knitting technology to meet this challenge. Partnering DITF in this project is Robert Bosch GmbH.
The second award in this category went to the E-Caption 2.0 smart and safe coat developed by the Beira Interior University in Portugal. The coat is primarily designed to protect workers from excess radio-frequency signals while climbing antennas, the number of which is growing worldwide with the increasing spread of mobile telephony and the internet. Protection is given by a textile system that harvests energy and is connected to LEDs that indicate when the radiation level exceeds that recommended by the European Union. The project partner is the Aveiro Institute for Telecommunication.
In the ‘New Material’ category, the Techtextil Innovation Award 2019 went to Portugal’s Sedacor cork processing company for CORK-A-TEX, a new yarn made of cork. Previously, cork-based textiles for apparel or home textiles have been relatively stiff. The new cork yarn is a flexible product made of a natural material and thus offers additional design opportunities for the fashion industry and interior furnishing.