Leading textile industry body, the Ahmedabad Textile Industry Research Association (ATIRA), announced on May 10, 2012 that it would establish a centre of excellence for composites with an investment of Rs 180 crore, to make high performance fabrics for Indian automotive sector.
According to a PTI report, the COE, to come up in collaboration with Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) of Fraunhofer Germany, will focus on applications and product development for mobility sector covering automobiles, aerospace and marine transport, defence, amongst others. Composites are engineered material from two or more constituent materials, which offer light-weight solutions for sustainable environment without compromising on safety and strength by use of high-performance, hybrid fibre structures, noted the report.
Sanjay Lalbhai, Chairman of ATIRA said: "We have bagged the project to set up COE for Composites in a national competition, staying ahead of bidders like IIT-Delhi and others. It will now get a grant of Rs 25 crore from the Textile ministry for the centre. What is more, we have collaborated with the ICT of Fraunhofer Germany, which is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation, for this centre. We have taken the proposal for setting up COE for composites to the Gujarat government, which has given its in-principle approval. It could act as a game changer for the automobile sector".
ATIRA also launched an incubation centre for technical textiles, set up at an investment of Rs 18.82 crore, of which Rs 10 crore grant has been provided by the Gujarat government. The centre, having state-of-the-art machinery from Germany and Switzerland to develop high performance fabrics like carbon, glass and aramid yarns finding applications in aerospace, wind turbines amongst other sectors, is first of its kind to be launched in India, the report said.
'It is a versatile centre offering facility to develop high performance fabrics for over 40 sectors such as aerospace, wind turbines, defence amongst others', he added.
Minister of State for Industry Saurabh Patel, speaking at the inauguration of incubation centre said: 'The centre would facilitate the industrialists and entrepreneurs to do value addition to their products'.
ATIRA, in collaboration with Food Research Institute (DIL) of Germany, has also set up a pilot plant to improve oil extraction from cotton and other oil seeds. "The outcome is encouraging (resulting in increase in oil recovery by 2-3 percent). ATIRA is now ready for commercialisation of this technology for higher oil recovery from cotton seeds and will now begin experiment with other oil seeds," Lalbhai added.