Smart Textiles, a research and development initiative at the University of Borås, opened the event hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and held in the Golden Hall (Gyllene salen) in the Stockholm City Hall this Wednesday by presenting some of the prototypes from collaborations between companies and researchers.
The Swedish royal couple and the Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva and his wife Maria, ran over time to ask questions about the work of Smart Textiles. Among other things, they were interested in the possibility of using textiles for medical purposes.
– Both Her Majesty the Queen and the Portuguese presidential couple wanted to know more about the possibility of for example improving conditions for people with different forms of disabilities, says Susanne Nejderås, Deputy Process Manager at Smart Textiles.
The event was hosted by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Trade Ewa Björling, who work actively with issues concerning export and innovation in Swedish fashion and textiles. One of the goals of attending the event for the Portuguese delegation and the invited textile businesses was to find new partners and increase export. According to Business Sweden, the export of the Portuguese textile industry has dropped from 30 percent of the total export of the country to a mere 11 percent as a consequence of the financial crisis.
For Smart Textiles, the event was an opportunity to find out how Portugal, which is still one of the top ten textile exporting countries in the world, works with the development of textile materials and techniques.
– We were primarily interested in learning more of Citeve, which is the Portuguese centre for technological development in the textile field, says Nils-Krister Persson, who is the head of technological research at Smart Textiles.
The night before the event, Susanne Nejderås was one of a number of specially invited guests to the dinner held by the royal family for the Portuguese presidential couple at Stockholm Palace. At dinner, she had the opportunity to tell Crown Princess Victoria about Smart Textiles.