NCSU Establishes Nonwovens Institute
With support from government agencies and more than 70 companies working in the nonwovens sector, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, N.C., is establishing the worlds first accredited academic program to enable interdisciplinary study of engineered fabrics.
The Nonwovens Institute, to be located at NCSUs College of Textiles, will provide educational, research, economic development and partnering resources and support to further the US nonwovens industry, which has grown 6 to 8 percent annually and in 2006 generated $22 billion in revenues.
In North Carolina alone, NCSU reports 33 companies employ more than 2,420 people in the nonwovens sector. In just the last three years, 17 companies have come online or expanded, adding 1,000 jobs and investing more than $400 million in their operations.
NCSU colleges involved in the Nonwovens Institute include Textiles, Engineering and Natural Resources. The universitys Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center will become the institutes research and development arm. According to NCSU, the institutes open innovation platform will facilitate the development of future nonwoven applications in tandem with its education and training activities.
"The ability to grow the economy right here in North Carolina, conduct vital research and development in engineered fabrics and provide a 'test bed' for our more than 70 industry partners demonstrates the universitys commitment to the region and the nonwoven industry," said Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Ph.D., the institutes executive director.
The inauguration of the Nonwovens Institute will take place May 15, with state and university officials and company executives in attendance.