VINNOVA has granted SEK 750 000 to the project “From tree to fabric”. The project aims to find an alternative to the cotton fiber in the future and begins by a preliminary study.
The global lack of cotton makes the issue of alternative materials pressing. The Swedish School of Textiles is now going to initiate work on finding a fiber made of regenerated cellulose together with Domsjö, the Swedish Textile and Clothing Industries’ Association and Processum.
– The work of finding good alternatives, or rather complements, is important since an increase in cotton production would bring about great strains on the environment and also add to the problem of cotton competing over arable land with grain and other food crops. Today, over 60% of all textile fibers are oil-based, a raw material which also is about to be depleted. Thus, there is an huge demand for green textile fibers and this project may be part of the solution for the textile industry, says Anders Persson, project manager and Senior Lecturer at the Swedish School of Textiles.
The VINNOVA call for proposals pertains to “challenge-driven innovation”, which is a “three-stage rocket”. The grant of SEK 750 000 will fund the first stage of the process.
– The first stage for which we have received funding will see us building an organization and drawing up a project plan to be used when applying for funding of the next stage.
The organization is to be ready as soon as March 15th 2012. After that, all efforts will go toward the application for stage two with a budget of up to SEK 20 million.
– That’s when the real project starts, says Anders Persson.
The “Challenge-driven innovation” call for proposals received a total of 635 applications, the greatest amount ever for a single call for proposals. 94 projects have received a total of SEK 68 million in funding.