By Max W. Sung
ITMA and education: This year, from November 12 to 19, ITMA
will be holding its 17th edition in Milan, Italy, at the Fiera Milano
Rho. ITMA, the world's largest textile machinery show, is owned by CEMATEX,
an association of nine European national textile machinery associations,
and currently managed by MP Expositions. Since its debut in 1951 ITMA
has been held quadrennially. The previous ITMA, in 2011, was in Barcelona,
Spain, which also marked the 60th anniversary of the show. In celebration,
the 2011 ITMA incorporated a series of new conferences and events which
expanded the scope of the show to beyond the business of exhibiting
machines and facilitated exhibitor-client interactions. The conferences
were well received and attended by some 700 participants; they offered
opportunities for exchange of ideas for participants from different
disciplines as well as education for students at all levels. In comparison,
100,067 visitors from 40 countries attended the ITMA 2011.
The question for ITMA after the 2011 show was whether or not the 2015
show will continue the sponsorship of new conferences and events. Charles
Beauduin, the president of CEMATEX, has stated: "We have adopted the
theme "Master the Art of Sustainable Innovation' for ITMA 2015." A review
of the special events planned for ITMA 2015 indicates these special
events will continue in one form or another.
World Trade Summit (WTS): In 2011, the International Textile
Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) held its annual meeting just before
ITMA and collaborated with CEMATEX, MP International and WTiN in a one-day
World Trade Summit with the theme "New Paradigms in the Global Textile
Industry." WTS 2011 brought together highly respected speakers from
the textile and textile machinery industries as well as from the retail
industry, and Kofi Annan, the former secretary general of the United
Nations, as the keynote speaker. For 2015, CEMATEX, MP Expositions and
WTiN will again team up together to hold WTS as a one-day event on the
second day of ITMA. It will also have the support of the Sustainable
Apparel Coalition, the Textile Institute and the Better Cotton Initiative.
Going beyond the agendas of other textile sustainability conventions,
WTS 2015 will explore issues that really matter to strategic decision
makers. They include returns to be expected from capital investment
in clean technologies, establishing and monitoring a sustainable supply
chain, and market opportunities for clean production and sustainable
Textile Dyestuff and Chemical Industry Leaders Forum: In 2011,
leaders from international dyestuff industry associations in China,
India, Latin America as well as the Society of Dyers and Colourists,
supported by dyestuff associations from the United States, Brazil, Chile,
South Africa and Taiwan, came together to exchange views and collaborate
for the industry's sustainable future. For 2015, the Forum will continue
but rebranded as the Textile Colourant and Chemistry Industry Leaders'
Forum. Alessandro Gigli, a board member of the Association of Italian
Textile Chemists and Colourists who will chair the Forum's program committee,
said: "Topics to be covered include the chemical/colourant suppliers'
response to current environmental issues, updates on REACH regulation,
new dyeing and printing technologies and their impact in a more sustainable
Sustainable Textile Leaders Roundtable Dialogue: In 2011, CEMATEX
and MP in partnership with Textile Exchange brought together representatives
of major textile producers to discuss issues impacting global textile
sustainability. The program was fully registered in advance, with students
making up more than 50% of the attendees. For 2015, CEMATEX has launched
an award program as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage and recognise
outstanding industry members and post-graduate students for their contributions
to the sustainable development of the global textile and garment industry.
Nonwovens Forum: Last year, the International Association for
the Nonwovens and Related Industries (EDANA) and MP Expositions signed
a memorandum of understanding to support the organisation of a conference
on nonwovens during ITMA 2015. This reflects a growing interest in nonwovens
and technical textiles following the inclusion of fibre and yarn as
a separate chapter at ITMA 2011. The Nonwovens Forum at ITMA 2015 will
address pertinent issues, challenges and opportunities in the rapidly
evolving field of nonwovens. Research and Education (R&E) Pavilion:
At ITMA 2011, the R&E Pavilion offered a venue where work done by universities
and institutions of higher learning were acknowledged and supported.
A total of 45 universities and institutions from 20 countries participated
in the R&E pavilion, and 24 technical papers were published in the R&E
Speakers Platform. CEMATEX, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of
ITMA, awarded grants to all the participants in the pavilion. For ITMA
2015, the R&E Pavilion will continue to provide opportunities to universities
and higher institutions of learning to share their achievements in research
and development as well as current and future projects with the industry.
The European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing
(Textile ETP), which was established by EURATEX, TEXTRANET and AUTEX
as a non-profit organisation, will showcase its key projects at the
CEMATEX will continue to provide grants to all participants as well
as subsidies to cover at least 50% of the cost of the exhibition booth.
Jeroen Vits, the secretary general of the Belgian Textile Machinery
Association who chairs the R&E committee, had previously stated, "We
believe that businesses must continue to invest in developing innovative
processes, products, and manufacturing capabilities. Also, human capital
must be developed to the fullest."
ITMA offers remarkable opportunities for education and investments in
human capital. We applaud its continuing efforts in this regard.