Nonwovens / Technical Textiles

2016-08-25

Freudenberg Performance Materials launches open innovation competition

Freudenberg Performance Materials, the world’s leading manufacturer of technical textiles, has launched an open innovation competition under the name “Next-Generation Nonwovens”. External developers, scientists, students, organizations and other interested parties are invited to submit their ideas in response to two questions.
First, how can nonwovens be developed from polyester, which will then be biodegradable within defined time period? Second, how can highly transparent fibers be developed that are suitable for the production of polyester nonwovens? The competition deadline is November 30, 2016.

“Many questions today are so complex that very different disciplines need to work together to solve them. With our ‘Next-Generation Nonwovens’ competition, we want to encourage all experts – not just our internal teams – to get involved at the very earliest idea-development stage”, explained Dr. Frank Heislitz, Chief Technology Officer of Freudenberg Performance Materials about the background to the initiative. The competition is part of Freudenberg’s ideaTrophy program, through which the Group has in the past sought external responses to various topics, such as renewable energy, water and health.

What ideas are wanted, exactly?

Through the competition, Freudenberg Performance Materials is looking for ideas that can support the successful realization of:

1. Polyester nonwovens that are biodegradable within a defined time period

2. Highly transparent fibers suitable for the production of nonwovens

Who can take part?

Whether from within or outside the Freudenberg Group, all interested individuals, groups and organizations are invited to submit their ideas. Freudenberg has a long track record of working successfully with external developers and creative minds. These include academic institutions, large technology companies and enterprises from different sectors, as well as individual developers.


Pic: Idea sketch biodegradable fibres


Pic:Idea sketch transparent polyester fibres


How can ideas be submitted and what is the closing date?

From a simple concept sketch with indents and detailed descriptions through functional prototypes to young start-up companies: ideas at all levels of development are welcome. From experience however, the better the respective idea is described and presented the greater its chances of success. Participants can upload their ideas on the ideaTrophy website: www.ideatrophy-freudenberg.com The competition launched on August 15, 2016 and the final date for submissions is November 30, 2016.

What do participants stand to win? 

Freudenberg Performance Materials will choose the best ideas from the competition by the end of 2016. Winners will then be invited to a pitch at the company’s headquarters in Weinheim. This will give them the opportunity to present their ideas to researchers, developers and managers at Freudenberg Performance Materials. In addition, they will have the chance to discuss next steps on the path to product maturity.

Participants whose ideas are picked up by the company will be able to get involved in the development work, from the earliest stages right up to series production and market launch. In this way, the competition can really make a dream come true.

Ideas are invited for developing new nonwovens properties and fibers: www.ideatrophy-freudenberg.com

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