Textiles manufacturing partnership agreement announced by UMass Dartmouth and Natick Soldier Systems Center

Initiative designed to leverage UMass technology to develop private sector products and produce jobs

Following a roundtable discussion on Massachusetts' competitiveness in the global textile industry hosted by Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki, UMass Dartmouth and the U.S. Army's Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC) finalized a research and development agreement designed to leverage UMass science to develop private sector products and produce jobs. 

"The Patrick-Murray Administration is dedicated to maximizing job opportunities, supporting workforce education, and creating a strong and innovative manufacturing industry here in the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki, ''This partnership is designed to support innovation and collaboration in the textile manufacturing industry here in Massachusetts as the Commonwealth continues to lead the nation out of this recession " 

The agreement will bring together scientists from the UMass Dartmouth and NSSC to develop digital high-speed textiple printing processes and technology that will enable companies to create customized textiles on demand for military clients in need of specialized camouflage clothing and equipment that not only will help soldiers blend with the landscape but minimize heat transfer, making them invisible to infrared sensors. There are currently at least eight textile printing companies operating in Massachusetts. 

"We have many opportunities to collaborate to enhance the competitiveness of the Massachusetts textile and advanced materials industry," said ATMC Director Louis Petrovic. "From opening some of the earliest mills in the nation to developing some of today's most advanced capabilities, Massachusetts has been a historic leader in materials engineering, and it will be partnerships like this that keep our industries well-positioned in the rapidly evolving global economy." 

The project targeted by the agreement is based on the work of Dr. Qinquo Fan in the UMass Dartmouth Department of Materials and textiles. The  project  is sponsored by the Massachusetts Tech Collaborative via the John Adams Innovation Institute. 

"We believe there is a real opportunity to grow a 21st century technology textile industry in Massachusetts through digital technology," said Richard Himmelwright, CEO of Cold Spring Teechnology in Three Rivers, Massachusetts, who is working with the university, state, and Natick on the project. "Digital technology has revolutionized music, photography, publishing and many other sectors of our economy. Now, we have an opportunity to revolutionize textiles in Massachusetts and the United States. This partnership is a great start." 

"We have critical internal objectives we feel we can better achieve by working with academia and industry whenever possible, but we also recognize our obligation to leverage military-related innovation to benefit the public and industry," said Jeff Ditullio, Technology Transfer Manager at NSSC. "We very much look forward to working with UMass Dartmouth and our government and industry partners to advance this project." 


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