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Tampere gets a new cluster in textile research

VTT, Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and the Swedish IFP Sicomp are forming a new strong concentration of materials technology and textile applications in Tampere. The combination of VTT materials technology, TUT and IFP R&D and testing services adds up to something unique at the disposal of enterprises in the textiles industry.

Services in the textile industry will continue in Tampere, since TUT has established an intelligent garments laboratory and IFP Sicomp has also started up services in testing and laundering here. IFP already has such operations in Sweden and the Baltic countries. VTT will complement this by providing R & D services for plastic compounds in multipurpose applications.

Heikki Mattila from Tampere University of Technology (left), Ronald Pedersen from IFP Sicomp and Jaakko Raukola from VTT.
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Photo: Kalle Heiska

"There has been a rationalisation in textiles research in Tampere. It's a great thing that TUT is going on with research on intelligent garments and that we've got Sicomp along. They and VTT's materials research are looking for a business niche, and together they have the necessary considerable resources for research and product development. If they gain appreciation in the Nordic and Baltic countries the combination could give rise to anything at all on the international markets," says Matti Järventie, managing director of The Federation of Finnish Textile and Clothing Industries.

According to Mr. Järventie the garments trade is labour intensive, and there is plenty of work in design and marketing for Finland. For intelligent garments there's also plenty of work to be done in production. On the other hand in the textile field the focus in Finland is on R&D, and there are plenty of markets in Finland and abroad. Examples of competitive special products include wires for paper machines, disposable cloths, filters and fibreglass-based sails for wind power facilities.

"Companies in the textiles field have a great appreciation of VTT R&D. The advantages include Finnish as an operating language, reliability and proximity. But VTT still needs to stay up front in the competition, as the transfer of equipment and knowledge to international research institutes is easier than it used to be," Mr. Järventie continues.

VTT discontinued its own testing and laundering services in textile technology. Most of the research personnel have succeeded in finding new employment.

Further information:
VTT Processes
Jaakko Raukola, Research Manager
tel. +358 3 316 3568, +358 40 527 2684
The Federation of Finnish Textile and Clothing Industries
Matti Järventie, Managing Director
tel. +358 3 388 9112

Photo: Kalle Heiska

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