The goal of the project BioTex Fieldlab is the development of new textile products, based on innovative fibers from biobased polymers.
The amount of applications in which biobased polymers are being applied and the total volume of biobased polymers being produced continue to increase year after year. It is expected that this trend would proceed in the coming years. The worldwide production capacities of biobased polymers are currently around 6.7 million tons however; it is expected to reach approximately 11.7 million ton/year in 2020. The expectations are that the biopolymer consumption within Europe will reach a volume of > 3 million ton/year, corresponding to a market value of 5.4 billion euro by 2020.
The South of the Netherlands has a unique presence of activity and research in the field of biobased materials on one hand and the production of textiles on the other. Industry and research in the Southern Netherlands have the ambition to lead the way in the use of biobased polymers in textile applications. In order to obtain these goals at top speed, it is necessary to have an open innovation center in this region, which can deliver innovative fibers of textile grade to the industry.
Therefore, the goal of the project BioTex Fieldlab is the development of new textile products, based on innovative fibers from biobased polymers. The main result is a full functioning open innovation pilot lab, consisting of accessible laboratories and researchers. In this lab SME’s and large infrastructure companies in Netherlands can make use of available expertises and can collaborate on new sustainable innovations in the biobased textile industry. In this manner, a growing and innovative network is built up which will generate a continuous stream of new R&D cooperation’s with in the textile industry. The fieldlab will show the potential of biopolymers in the textile industry, which will be demonstrated through eight showcases.
The testing ground will consider a wide range of biopolymers for the development of textile applications such as PLA, bio-PA, PTT, PBS, PHA or completely new developments. The marketing of these innovative and sustainable textiles is expected to realise an increase in turnover and employment in the participating companies.
MODINT (the trade association of 600 textile companies), the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) at Brightlands Chemelot Campus of Maastricht University and CHILL (the Center of Expertise in the field of chemistry) are the steering committee partners of this project.
The Fieldlab is fully functional now, thankfully due to the financial support given by the funding agencies in this project such as, “Operational Programme South Netherlands”, “Province of Limburg” and “Ministry for Economic Affairs”.