More than 50 researchers, fashion and textile designers, manufacturers and other industry partners came together to discuss new innovation ideas at a special reception on Monday 15 July.
The ‘Meet the Researchers’ event gave Future Fashion Factory (FFF) members the chance to network and share ideas, as well as discussing new collaboration opportunities before the launch of our next innovation funding call on 2 September.
Industry partners from across the sector met researchers from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, based at our three academic centres of the University of Leeds, University of Huddersfield, and Royal College of Art (RCA).
Specialists in technical textiles, fashion design, sustainability, big data analytics, AI and education were all on hand to talk about their current research and how their expertise could help to solve the challenges businesses face across the industry.
FFF’s R&D funding calls enable businesses to work collaboratively with researchers and other industry partners to develop innovative solutions to cut lead times, reduce waste, and improve their agility.
The reception marked the end of an eventful few days for the FFF community, as researchers from RCA took a whistle-stop tour of Yorkshire’s textile centres.
Susan Postlethwaite, who is a co-investigator on the Programme and Senior Tutor (Research) Fashion at RCA, led a fact-finding visit to meet industry partners in the region and strengthen the team’s connections across all three FFF academic centres.
During their stay, the team took part in site visits at two of the Yorkshire mills among FFF’s core partners: Laxtons, where they witnessed the dyeing and spinning of specialist yarns, and WT Johnson, where they spent time understanding the processes behind fabric finishing.
In addition, they met with colleagues at the Universities of Leeds and Huddersfield to explore the institutions’ technical capabilities – such as the 3D Weaving Innovation Centre at Leeds – and share updates on the exciting research being supported by FFF.
The team from RCA will come back to Yorkshire in October and researchers from all three universities are keen to hear from anyone who has an idea they would like to develop. If you are interested in meeting any of our researchers to talk about a project you have in mind, contact the FFF team.