The second edition of Smart Fabrics Summit, cohosted by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and the U.S. Department of Commerce, demonstrated the advancements happening in this fast-growing segment of the textile industry. A capacity crowd of public and private experts and innovators filled the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for the daylong event on April 24, 2018, which included talks and panel discussions on:
- Solar-powered fabrics
- Trends in public/private R&D partnerships
- Intellectual property protection and licensing
- Data security and privacy issues
- Smart fabric requirements for first responders
Speakers included the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross; Yoel Fink, CEO of the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America; and many academic researchers, industry experts and legal professionals.
Amit Kapoor, president of First Line Technology and IFAI Advanced Textiles Products Division Chair joined Secretary Ross for a fireside chat to discuss the challenges, opportunities and top of mind issues surrounding the smart fabrics industry.
Several representatives of IFAI member companies were presenters at the Smart Fabrics Summit, including:
- Dr. Qaizar Hassonjee, president, Hass Tech Associates
- Chris Semonelli, president, Coated Technical Solutions
- Stephanie Rodgers, director, Advanced Product Developments, Apex Mills Corporation
- Colin Touhey, CEO, Pvilion
“The second Smart Fabrics Summit built upon the first one we cosponsored with the Department of Commerce in 2016,” said IFAI president and CEO Mary Hennessy. “There have been many, many products introduced since then. The industry is exploring the myriad of ways we can use textiles with smart functions such as connectivity, phase changing, biomicrobial and self-cleaning to improve healthcare, public safety, building design, performance apparel—and more.”
The Consumer Technology Association was the Gold Sponsor for this year’s conference. Eeonyx, NAMICS Corporation, IQ Textile Ind. Inc. and Schoeller sponsored the conference as well.
Conference highlights will be available soon. Stay tuned to www.ifai.com for details.