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Posted on: April 4, 2016

GoUpstate: Spartanburg County to play role in $317M textile innovation initiative

Economic News

By Trevor Anderson, Spartanburg Herald Journal

Four South Carolina institutions, including two in Spartanburg County, will be part of a national effort marrying technology with textiles to create “an industry that does not yet exist.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the launch of a more than $317 million public-private partnership led by the nonprofit Advanced Functional Fabrics of America during an event Friday at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Clemson University, Milliken & Co., Inman Mills and the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership are part of a group that includes 31 universities, 16 industry members, 72 manufacturing entities and 26 startup incubators in 28 states. The group will work to accelerate innovations in fibers and fabrics to secure the country's leadership in advanced materials manufacturing.

“Right here, right now, we're taking another step forward,” Carter said during the news conference. “This is a pioneering field, combining fibers and yarns with things like flexible integrated circuits, LEDs, solar cells, electronic sensors and other capabilities to create fabrics and cloths that can see, hear, sense and communicate, store energy, regulate temperature, monitor health, change color, much more.”

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