Advaced textile innovation centres in Morocco: first steps
Within the framework of Fostex’s preparatory activities, started right at the begging of the project in February 2019, experts of the European consortium partners participated in a two-day meeting on September 5th and 6th in Morocco. Main aim of the visit was to complete the identification and evaluation of the needs for the two advanced textile innovation centres that will be implemented at the two higher education institutions in Morocco thanks to the Fostex initiative.
Ms. Raluca Maria Aileni and Ms. Lilioara Surdu, both experts from consortium partner INCDTP (the National Research & Development Institute for Textiles and Leather in Bucharest) had the chance to visit the facilities of ESITH (Ecole Supérieure des Industries du Textile et de l’Habillement) and UH2C (Université Hassan II), both located in Casablanca, in order to gain insights and a clear vision of the locations and logistics needed for the technical equipment that will be purchased for the two textile centres. In particular, the onspot evaluation enabled decision making regarding the possibilities to upgrade and complete already existing infrastructure and identify possible needs in training staff of the future advanced textile centres in using the equipment and standardisations methods.
On day 1 the experts from INCDTP were welcomed at UH2C where they found an institution mainly oriented to fundamental research such as chemistry, especially on polymers. Thus, after an in deep confrontation of already available equipment, activities of the HEI and objectives of project Fostex, coordinators agreed on acquiring a Nano Fiber Electrospinning Unit and Gel Permeation Chromatography instrument needed to set up the advanced textile innovation centre at UH2C.
Day 2 brought the team from Romania to ESITH, where they were welcomed by all Moroccan members of the consortium, the contact persons of UH2C and AMITH. In addition, in the second part of the meeting was present also Mr. Nabil Najim, director of C2TM, the Moroccan Technical Textile Cluster. Compared to the previously visited HEI, ESITH is oriented towards applied research, being already active collaborating with the national textile industry and large companies operating on international level. In order to upgrade the innovation potential of the already existing textile centre at ESITH, different type of equipment such as an Acoustic Material Tester, a Universal Tensile Strength Tester, a Thermal Conductivity Tester, a Hydraulic Lamination Hot Press and a Double Plunger Melt Spinning Machine will be acquired.
Based on the fruitful meeting which provided a thorough evaluation and direct confrontation with the local context, the consortium partners jointly defined a scenario for future development in the local textile sector: starting from the equipment that will be purchased thanks to project Fostex, medical textile, textile for protective equipment, sport textile and textile for automotive will be the main focus of the new advanced textile innovation centres.
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