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Web Exclusive | May 2016

WRA-RMIT collaborate

A leading sports technology delegation from the State of Victoria, Australia visited India from May 9-13 to embark on their first sportstech trade mission with the aim of forging partnerships with their Indian counterparts.

The mission is led by the State Government of Victoria in partnership with The Australian Sports Technologies Network, a not-for-profit member based organisation focused on commercialisation, development and promotion of Australian-inspired sports technologies across domestic and global markets. The delegation is focused on key segments within the sports tech industry, which broadly includes digital services, sports medicine, wearable devices, sports data management and analysis and textiles.

The delegation to India conducted one-on-one business meetings and networking events with targeted Indian industry partners including manufacturers and retailers. They also met with key government officials to deliberate and discussed the need for collaborative partnerships in skills for mutual benefit of both countries.

An MoU had been previously established between The Wool Research Association (WRA) of India and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Australia (RMIT University).

“With the Victorian delegation visiting India and the RMIT University MoU with our Centre of Excellence, WRA will gain immense opportunities to work a strategic way forward in the field of sport textiles,” Dr Kavita Gupta, Additional Secretary to Government of India and Textile Commissioner, said on the RMIT-WRA collaboration and Australian delegation visit.

“The partnership with RMIT is aimed at improving the main function of the WRA Centre of Excellence, to share and transfer knowledge of sports technologies and textiles. This will occur through various research and training workshops, seminars and conferences for the participating industry, researchers, students and new entrepreneurs,” MK Bardhan, Director General, WRA said on the RMIT-WRA collaboration.

With the signing of this MoU, the two organisations plan to draw on the international expertise from RMIT’s Centre for Advanced Materials and Performance Textiles (CAMPT), especially from its Human Ecology and Clothing Science Research Group that focuses on spaces like sport materials, sports and performance apparel and human-performance technologies.

CAMPT is the leading-edge textile research facility within the School of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University. The Centre has developed notable products including protective fabrics for defence and fire fighters, materials for improved sports performance and innovative car seat covers that ensure optimal airbag deployments.

As a part of this plan, RMIT and WRA will be collaborating to create a common platform called International Sportech Centre, which will focus on pilot trial and testing facilities as well as R&D for sports textiles manufacturers in the country. The Centre will also provide new avenues for entrepreneurs to develop new products, standards and prototypes of sports equipment, textiles and goods.

“This partnership will allow RMIT University to deepen its connections with India. It will also help to develop broader links and collaborative projects in the areas of research, faculty and students exchange, industry partnerships and academic programmes,” said Professor Rajiv Padhye, Director of RMIT’s Centre for Advanced Materials and Textiles.

“It is exciting for us to be a part of this new Australia-India partnership that is focused on the ever-growing and important market of sports technologies, fitness and functional apparel, and human performance and wellbeing” said Associate Professor Olga Troynikov, the Leader of CAMPT’s Human Ecology and Clothing Science Research Group and the RMIT-WRA Project Leader from the RMIT’s side. “The researchers in the centre and the group are experienced in frontier sport materials and apparel, protective textiles and smart textiles and are recognised experts in these areas working with sports brands not only in Australia but internationally” she added, “ we are looking forward to future achievements in collaboration with WRA.”

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