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Web Exclusive | October 2018

DORNBIRN-GFC witnesses participation from +35 countries

More than a 100 high-qualitative international lectures from academy and industry highlighted at the 5th Dornbirn-GFC 2018, which took place from September 12-14, 2018 at Austria. Beside the presentations, the audience had the possibility to ask specific questions and therefore the topics were discussed in a practical way. Also this year the share of lectures from the industry was about 50 per cent. Next to Europe, a lot of interesting lectures were presented from Japan, China, Taiwan, India, USA, Canada and Turkey.

More than 700 participants from over 35 nations took part. About 70 per cent from Europe and 30 per cent from Asia and the USA took advantage of the Dornbirn-GFC in order to learn about the latest innovations of the fiber industry and its downstream stages.

Paul Schlack/Wilhelm Albrecht Awarding 2018
The Paul Schlack / Wilhelm Albrecht Prize 2018 was awarded to following innovative projects: Dr Alexander Weise, RWTH Aachen, ITA, convinced the jury with his project “development of graphene modified multifilaments for the construction of textile electrical storage” and Dr Christoph Rieger, DITF/ITV Denkendorf convinced with his project, “development of a manufacturing system for high temperature stable meltblown nonwovens and their characteristics”.
 
Smart Textiles Symposium
The cooperation and synergy with the symposium being held at the same time in Dornbirn was very successful. Participants of the Dornbirn-GFC could listen to the high quality lectures at the symposium free of charge.

The participants may use a new congress-app for the first time. This app should improve the communication and information during the congress. The participants have the possibility to be informed on the presentation and lecturer in advance. Further the aspect of networking is of great interest. All Dornbirn-GFC participants will be linked together with the app and may get in contact with each other.

Top-class plenary lectures 
Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian Federal Chancellor, could be won to open this year’s congress. His presentation via a video transmission brought important topics and aspects as well as future issues for our branch on the point. 

Furthermore, the interview with James Holbery from Microsoft US on the issue of “How will Smart Textiles change the world and what does Microsoft expect from industry?“ was very enlightening. His keynote at the “Smart Textiles Symposium”. Smart Textiles in the age of digitisation – an enormous potential for textile industry!

As a connoisseur of the automotive industry, Prof Theo Sams from AVL List, the world’s biggest independent company for the development of drive systems, illuminated the 
“relevance and potentials of the fiber industry in the future development of the automotive industry”.

The successful, rapidly growing Canadian brand Lululemon Athletica, represented by Yogendra Dandapure, provided forward-looking trends and the technology approach for the industry and he finally took part at the panel discussion “Circular Economy“.

Edwin Keh, CEO of the international renowned Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel HKRITA, gave a lecture on “Circular Economy“ and also participated at the subsequent panel discussion. HKRITA cooperates closely with the big brands like H&M and is also a frequent medalist of the “Geneva International Annual Invention Awards“.

The board members and CEOs discussed lively and with different views on sustainability and how the big European and Asian fiber producers position themselves to the “3 Ps – Planet, People, Profit”. Necat Altin/Zorlu, Stefan Braun/Dralon, Uday Gill/Indorama, Robert van de Kerkhof/Lenzing and Gunjan Sharma/Reliance led by Walter Woitsch/Syngroup Consulting.

Expert Panel “Circular Economy”
After the highly interesting lecture block on “Circular Economy” a panel discussion took place: “Circular Economy – What an Opportunity!”, moderated by the expert of sustainability, Reiner Hengstmann. 

The participants Eberhard Brack/Märkische Faser, Peter Bartsch/Lenzing, Michael Chtepa/Seaqual4U, Yogendra Dandapure/Lululemon, Edwin Keh/HKRITA, Luis Marinheiro/ISWA (International Solid and Waste Association) demonstrated high commitment and approaches to the current topic, strongly promoted by the EU Commission.

Young Scientist Forum 
The topic “Digital Age in Research and Development“ was deepened in a workshop by young scientists on September 11, 2018 guided by Syngroup Consulting (AUT). The participation of Microsoft was extremely valuable. The subsequent visit of the congress integrated the next generation into the network of the “Dornbirn-GFC innovation community.

In order to support the networking of the participants a special get-together in a relaxed atmosphere was provided. Next to the Kulturhaus the Mohrenbräu offered a nice conclusion of the congress – Know-how exchange in a different light!
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