New workshop proposed to discuss the problems, suggest mechanisms for networking and collaborating, and highlight available funding.

There is strong evidence that the UK textiles and clothing sectors are thriving: they contribute £9 billion to the economy, and they could generate a further 15,000 jobs by 2020. Significantly, UK Textile Innovation is ranked third globally and first in Europe. This is because the UK textile industry is particularly strong when it comes to innovation and exclusivity, providing high and mid-end fast fashion, luxury and homeware products. It also exports significant volumes of high quality apparel throughout the world. However, there are many challenges which are likely to come with this repatriation process. The first is a lack of skills and appropriate technology, as the industry is labour intensive. Secondly, high energy prices may restrict development as the industry is currently run by micro and medium-sized firms with limited resources and production.

Innovate UK and KTN believe it is now timely to understand which industrial organisations are interested to discuss issues related to textiles/clothing manufacturing and the latest developments in Robotics and Automation. Based on this, we would propose a workshop in late 2018 or early 2019 to discuss the problems, suggest mechanisms for networking and collaborating, and highlight available funding opportunities.

If you would like to know more about what the UK Science Base is doing, or to discuss and engage in potential applications of robotics and automation in the textile and clothing sectors, then please get in touch with Caroline or Brian.

Share this article