Flanders and the French regions of Nord-Pas de Calais and Somme have a large maritime industry, with worldwide activities. In order to reinforce their competetive position in a globalising economy, this industry is looking for opportunities to set up synergies with other industrial sectors. This is one of the objectives of both the Flemish Maritime Cluster FMC (Flanders) and AQUIMER (France).
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The textile industry is an important economic sector in both the North of France and the western provinces of Flanders. Since a few years the textile industry is shifting its production from clothing and interior textiles to technical textiles for applications in construction (buildtech, geotech), automotive and transport (mobiltech), agriculture (agrotech) and other indutechs. To continue and expand this development, the textile industry must look for innovations and synergies with other sectors. Centexbel (Flanders) and UPtex (France) are two important advocates of innovation in the textile sector.
Today, the limited contacts between both sectors are taking place rather haphazardly, step by step and result in traditional textile products such as fishing nets, cords (ships and mussels,...), protective clothing and workwear (fishermen...), sails, cables...
With this project we would like to bring together the maritime industry and the technical textile industry. Indeed, the maritime world is a major consumer of technical textiles (sails, ropes, protective equipment, composites, filters, fishing nets...), related to application fields such as agriculture, PPE, geotextiles and industry. Therefore, the martime sector is one of the most dynamic sectors offering exceptional growth opportunities to average technical textiles.
Research performed by UP-tex and Clubtex showed four interesting value chains for PME's:
- Safety and security in maritime professions (Personal Protection Equipment)
- Fishery and sea farming (fishing nets, conchyliculture, filtration, packing…)
- Coast protection and planning (protection of the coast line, dredging, sanitation…)
- Ship building and aquatic sports (composites, sail cloth, ropes, off-shore wind turbines…)