International benchmarking, deliberations with the industry, and demand assessment are critical for identifying high value and high-volume potential products to catalyse research and innovation in technical textiles in India, said Indian minister Piyush Goyal. He was addressing the audience as chair of the 6th Mission Steering Group (MSG) meeting of the National Technical Textiles Mission in New Delhi, India.
The ministry of textiles approved 20 R&D projects worth ₹61.09 crore across key strategic areas of geotech, protech, indutech, sustainable textiles, sportech, and buildtech segments and specialty fibres (carbon fibre and ultra-high molecular weight poly-ethylene) during the 6th MSG meeting, India’s ministry of textiles said in a press release.
Among these 20 R&D projects, three projects from geotech, six of protech, one indutech, one sportech, two sustainable textiles, two buildtech, two carbon fibres, two specialty/functional fibre and one ultra-high molecular weight poly-ethylene (UHMWPE) were approved.
While addressing the meeting, Goyal, the Union minister of textiles, commerce and industry and consumer affairs, food and public distribution, said that it is necessary to identify the areas where high strength lightweight technical textiles could be used as an alternative material in automobile, aviation, infrastructure, and medical sectors for enhancing efficiency, advancement, and sustainability.
The minister noted that massive outreach exercise is the need of the hour to attract more R&D proposals in the priority areas under the National Technical Textile Mission (NTTM) wherein the ministry of textiles, ministry of science and technology, and ministry of commerce and industry may collaborate.
Goyal also said that private engineering colleges of good repute should be encouraged to work together with Textile Research Associations (TRAs) or reputed government institutes for wider awareness, benefits, and optimal utilisation of the NTTM Scheme and foster the research and innovation ecosystem across India.
The minister reviewed the progress of Component-II of NTTM - Promotion and Market Development, including events conducted so far such as the 10th Edition of Technotex 2023 in Mumbai with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) held between Feb 22–24, 2023, GEOTEX: National Conference on Geo-Textiles – PM Gati Shakti Scheme in Delhi with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on March 24, 2023, Technical Textiles: Exploring Growth Opportunities in Hometech and Clothtech under Chintan Shivir – ‘Saurashtra Tamil Sangamam’ at Rajkot on April 21, 2023 and the National Conclave on Sportech: The Future of Sport Textiles and Accessories Industry in India in Delhi with the Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA) on June 2, 2023.
Goyal also reviewed the inter-ministerial exercise conducted under NTTM for the mandation/adoption of different technical textiles items and meetings held with the ministry of railways and ministry of defence for enhancing usage of technical textiles. Quality control orders (QCOs) for 31 technical textiles—19 geotextiles and 12 protective textiles issued on April 10, 2023.
Senior officials from the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, ministry of road transport and highways, ministry of heavy industries, ministry of railways, ministry of Jal Shakti, department of expenditure, department of higher education, department for promotion of industry and internal trade and members from other ministries, and eminent members from the industry attended the meeting.