Economic impact of nanotechnology in the textile sector
Table of contents• Bax & Willems CV• ObservatoryNANO• The European textile industry• What Nano can do for the textile industry• Concerns about the use of nanotechnology• Existing “nano-enhanced” products• Barriers for nanotechnology in the textile sector• What can we expect for the future• Conclusions
Bax & Willems Consulting Venturing• Support clients across Europe in optimising the ratio between R&D investment and future business creation• Matching future businesses with future technologies • Searching & selecting business opportunities • Developing collaborative R&D programmes • Creating strategies to exploit opportunities • Exploring the future to decide now• Since 1985
ObservatoryNANO in brief 4 Years Consortium 16 Partners 10 Technology/Market sectors analysed Aerospace, Agrifood Chemistry & Energy Environment Health, Medicine ICT Textiles Security Construction & Nanobio Automotive, & Materials Transport
Let’s Focus… the European Textile Industry• Turnover 2007: €210 billion• Companies: 145,000 - Mainly Small & Medium-sized enterprises• Employment: 2,5 million people (-6% compared 2006)• Diverse sectors Clothing & apparel Home & interiors Technical textiles• High competence of low-wage countries (North Africa, China, Pakistan,..)• Search for new commercialization strategies & innovative products
How is the future for European Textile Industry?According to the European TechnologyPlatform for the Future of Textiles andClothing… Potential benefits of Nanotechnology New and/or enhanced functionalities Self-cleaning textiles Anti bacterial / anti-odour textiles UV - Protection Conductive textiles Reinforced textiles Flame retardant textile Source: Strategic Research Agenda ETP for the future … of textiles & Clothing - June 2006 - EURATEX Reduction of material consumption Environmentally friendly
But still, there are some general concerns…. What is Nanotechnology What are the benefits of using it How much will it cost me? Is it safe to use nano-enhanced products? Is it dangerous to produce them?
However.. Is it already possible to buy “nano-enhanced” products? Self-cleaning / Lotus effect Water repellency Moisture managementAnti-bacterial Flame retardant www.nanotechproject.org
Why we can find already “nano” products?• Use of nanotechnology is considered to be a good marketing tool for certain properties• Most of the current “nano-enhanced” products available in the market are obtained by the application of “nano-enabled” coatings• Does everything that claims to be “nano” contain naotechnology?• Nano is not a protected term
What could be the “nano-enhanced” products in the near future?Technical textiles is the sub-sector with more potential • Reinforced textiles • Conductive textiles • Nano-encapsulates for medical applications • Fire retardant textiles • Optical effects • NanofiltrationHowever growth is conditioned by several factors…
What are the barriers for nanotechnology to be widely adopted by the textile industry?• Textile industry is a fragmented/traditional sector reluctant to change• There is a general lack of knowledge about nanotechnology (Benefits & risks)• Difficulties in process scale-up• Lack of “nano-experienced” personnel at the industry• Technical limitations Process reliability, difficulty to achieve the desired particle dispersion, “wash-ability”, availability of nanomaterials and other functional requirements
What is the current situation of nanotechnology in the textile industry?.. Facts• Several “nano” textile products are already in the market mainly in the apparel and home textiles sectors• Main functionalities provided by nanotechnology are: self- cleaning & anti-bacterial In most cases nanotechnology is just part of the solution• Still there are some technical and economical challenges for wider industrial impact• “Nano-enabled” products still represents a minor part of the total market (Significantly less than 1%)
What can we expect in the near future?• Initial forecast predicted an exponential growth of Nanotechnology in the textile sector in the coming years…• At present, these forecasts seem highly overrated due to: Current Nanotechnology penetration State of the art of nanotechnology developments Industry’s concerns regarding Nanotechnology implementation (HSE issues, increase in final product costs, No perception of need to change, difficulty to replace existing processes, lack of qualified resources) … present economic situation
Nanotechnology is around the corner…. But… it is going to take a while before we get there!
Thank youfor your attention!
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