Funding from Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Education, DST, and Industry partners under various research projects
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, has turned its state-of-the-art SMITA (Smart Materials and Innovative Textile Applications) Research Lab to a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Smart Textiles.
The SMITA Research Lab CoE in Smart Textiles has been established to work in the area of Smart and Functional Textiles using emerging materials and process technologies, which can directly benefit the country’s textile industry.
SMITA Research Lab, with generous funding from the Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Education, Department of Science and Technology, and Industry partners under various research projects, has been able to establish state-of-the-art research facilities, which are unique in the country and can be used for development of new smart technologies.
“IIT Delhi has converted its Smart Materials and Innovative Textile Applications (SMITA) Research Lab to a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Smart Textiles to further enhance the impact that IIT Delhi can make in the technical textile domain and to expedite the developments in this crucial area. The creation of the CoE has brought together researchers from different disciplines to develop futuristic smart textiles,” said V. Ramgopal Rao, director, IIT Delhi.
Thrust areas of the Centre of Excellence:
SMITA Research Lab has been partnering with Indian Industry and start-up companies and has taken several of these technologies from lab-scale to commercial domain.
“Smart Textiles and Wearable Electronics are being researched world over and it is predicted that this will bring unprecedented changes in elderly care, health care, communications, and sports, etc. The CoE will work towards development, design and integration of smart functionalities into textile substrates,” said Ashwini Agrawal, professor in the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering, IIT Delhi, and the CoE’s coordinator.
CoE co-coordinator Manjeet Jassal said the centre will help enhance the visibility of the work being carried out by the institute in the area of Smart and Technical Textiles and encourage faculty members from other disciplines and institutions to explore their interest in Smart Textile Materials.
Textiles is an important area for India as it is the second-largest employer after agriculture. Textiles contribute significantly to our economy through both domestic consumption and exports. However, the apparel sector is facing stiff competition from other low cost producing countries.
Technical Textiles are widely used in multiple sectors ranging from healthcare to aerospace and can fetch good returns for the Indian textile industry. Keeping this in mind, the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, has recently launched a National Technical Textile Mission (NTTM) and laid emphasis on the development of Technical Textiles in the country.