Austrian Fibers Institute is an organization which besides other activities organizes the yearly unique fibre & textile innovation congress “Dornbirn GFC- Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress” which celebrated its 60th anniversary this year.
Recently Textile Focus Coordinator Pranta Biswas talked with DI Friedrich Weninger, Managing Director, AUSTRIAN FIBERS INSTITUTE & Dornbirn GFC Global Fiber Congress. Mr. Weninger shared the activity of Austrian Fibers Institute, recent development and market scenario. For our reader’s key points are mentioned below.
Pranta: How do you see the global fiber business during the pandemic?
DI Friedrich Weninger: The global fibre business went on pretty nice on the demand side over the pandemic; nevertheless, on the supply side there are big issues on raw material and of course on the severe logistics problems mainly out of Asia. These caused very volatile price movements which is hard for the textile industry to digest!
Pranta: What is the latest innovation in this Fiber area?
DI Friedrich Weninger: Well sustainability, circular economy is the biggest trend and there are really interesting concepts on the raw material fibre eg: Lenzing Tencel (True carbon zero), Spinnova, Renewcell, Infinited a new development of Oerlikon on the machinery- just to name a few. There are big industry initiatives and when it comes to recycling it is a multi-stake collaboration – there is no way out as also the consumer is expecting environmentally friendly products and processes.
Pranta: What is the market segment of Austrian Fiber?
DI Friedrich Weninger: With our Dornbirn GFC innovation congress we are reaching out to the whole supply and we created a big research community from all over the world – innovative participants out of 35 nations are involved and are networking together. At our congress there are 600 – 700 participants from the whole supply chain up to the retail and brands.
Pranta: In the Textile Industry how do you support customer?
DI Friedrich Weninger: At our congress we offer usually ca 100 lecture on a scientific basis whereas ca 50% of industry and 50% of academic research. We work together with about 50 research institutes and Universities from all over the world – a good network to connect with.
Pranta: Any message to the global Textile Industry?
DI Friedrich Weninger: As the climate change is getting very obvious and is getting to the bones nobody can neglect the impact of our past and current behavior towards our planet. The “Green Deal” in Europe and many other global and regional initiatives will foster sustainability and circular economy and a different way of thinking and acting!
There is big need for a transformation in the textiles industry towards sustainability. But the change will provide a big opportunity to be on the forefront and gain out of that. No worry, the consumer will pay for that but is also demanding the change. Take the chance and be innovative in terms of new processes & products & services, new business models …openness and collaboration is the key for success!