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Organization of industrial application of academic research on biocatalytic pre-treatment processes of cotton

Organization of industrial application of academic research on biocatalytic pre-treatment processes of cotton

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A lot of research effort is put in developing enzymatic treatment of textiles by focusing on the performance of enzymes on lab-scale. Despite all this work upgrading of these developments from lab-scale to industrial scale has not been really successful. Companies are nowadays confronted with rapid developments of markets, logistics and social and environmental responsibilities. Moreover these organizations have to supply an evenincreasing amount of information to the authorities, shareholders, lobbyists and pressure groups. Companies have tried to fulfill all these demands, but this led often to the loss of focus on new product and process development. However, both theory and practices of breakthrough innovations has shown that those rightfully proud on previous successes in the past, are usually not the ones that lead the introduction of new technology, aswas shown and excellently documented by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen [Christenson, 2003]. The textile industry is no exception in this observation. With the lack of management impulses on new product and process developments companies began to reduce the investments in these activities. Finally, however, this will result in a reduction of the size of the company or even closing down. Besides the hesitation from the topmanagement of textile companies to focus on new developments it is also seen that the middle management level is reluctant to evaluate and implement developments in new products and processes. One of the reasons for this reluctance is that many processes in textile industry are not fully explored and known yet. From this lack of knowledge it is easy to explain that there is hesitation for changes, since not all consequences of a change inprocessing or production can be overseen. Often new developments cannot be fully tested and evaluated on labor pilot scale level. This is caused by the impossibility to mimic industrial scale production in a lab. Besides of that, pilot scale equipment is very expensive and for many companies it is not realistic to invest in this type of equipment.Fortunately an increasing number of textile companies realize that they have to invest in new products and processes for their future survival and prosperity. New developments are decisive for future successes. If such companies decide to invest in new developments it is obvious that with the scarcity of capital for product- and process developments, the chance of failures should be minimized. For successful process- and product development it is necessary to organize the development process with external partners, as it is clear that it is almost not possible for individual textile companies to control the process from idea generation, academic research, implementation research and development and industrial testing. These issues are specially characteristic for small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s). In the present work the collaboration has been organized on two research levels. The first research level is knowledge and know-how based. Here the universities and the chemical supplier worked closely together to investigate the new process. The aim was to explore the influence of process conditions and interaction of the chemicals in the sub process steps on the result of the treatment. The second level is that of the industrialimplementation of the new process. Here universities and chemical supplier worked closely together with different industries to implement the newly developed process. The focus in this part of the research was the interaction between the chemistry of the new process, equipment and fabrics.A co-operation between the beneficiaries of the new process has been established. The selection criterion for the co-operation was “who will earn something with the new process”.
Paper from the Saxion Research Centre for Design and Technology for Proceedings of IPTB Conference, Milan, Italy, M

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OrganisatieSaxion
InstituutAcademie ACT
LectoraatSmart Functional Materials
Datum2011-03-01
TypeCongresbijdrage
TaalEngels

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