Biotex - A joint research roadmap for the European industrial biotechnology and textile and clothing sectors

05.08.2011

 

Suschem - European Technology Platform For SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY

The textile and clothing sector remains one of the key manufacturing branches in a significant number of countries of the European Union. The Textile and Clothing sector has an annual turnover of more than 200 billion Euros and employs some 2,5 million people in over 150 000 companies across the EU-27. The EU is the world´s second biggest exporter of textiles and world´s third biggest exporter of clothing. Faced with fierce global competition from low-wage countries its sustainability strongly depends on a new multidisciplinary approach based on innovative high quality products and flexible, environmentally-friendly production systems. In addition, new initiatives to develop new attractive end-use markets for textiles need to be stimulated.

Biotechnology, as one of the modern dynamic disciplines, has an important role for the future knowledge-based economy. Industrial, or also called “white” biotechnology has a major potential to drive the textile sector into employing new possibilities of selective enzymatic catalysis (as an alternative to harsh chemical processing); new bio-based materials can be expected to lead to the launch of textiles with new functional properties (being an alternative source of textile auxiliary agents, creating new functional properties for technical, medical, wellness textiles). Natural and artificial (bio-fermented) fibrous polymers and biotechnologies will develop cleaner production processes assisted by much greater utilization of natural renewable fibre sources and as an instrument of new surface architecture of hybridized fibrous matrices.