The Discover Natural Fibres Initiative is pleased to announce the finalists for the DNFI Innovation in Natural Fibers Award 2017. These five finalists represent a diverse set of technologies and approaches, each with good commercial possibilities:
- Cloppenburg, Frederik, M.Sc. Head of Research Group Nonwoven Technology, Institute für Textilechnik (ITA) der RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany: “System4Green - Methodology for development of products with renewable raw materials.”
- Popzyk, Marie-Isabel, Dipl.-Ing., Scientific Assistant, Institute für Textilechnik (ITA) der RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany and Klein, Roland, Dr., Group Manager Design of Interfaces, Fraunhofer-Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF, Darmstadt, Germany: “Reduction of the moisture absorption of natural fibers and production of no-twist yarns for use in structural components.”
- Thouvay, Stéphane, Managing Director Product Management & Innovation, Südwolle Group, Schwaig, Germany: “Naturetexx® Plasma: making wool machine-washable without chlorine - just plasma and air.”
- Wonneberger, Maik, Employee research and development, INVENT GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany and Thiele, Elke; Helbig, Reinhard, Falck, Corinna; and Thielemann, Günther; Saxon textile research institute, Chemnitz, Germany: “Biogenic Heavy Tows Based on Hemp Bast Bark.”
- Wuzella, Günter Dipl.-Ing. Dr., Research team Green Composites, W3C, Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH: "Innovation in Renewable energy - Rotor blades from hemp-based composites.”
The DNFI Natural Fibres Award recognizes innovation in the development of products and processes using natural fibres and research involving natural fibres.
Evaluation criteria are:
•Outstanding scientific work and technical feasibility.
• Level of improvement or effectiveness of the innovation over existing products or processes.
• Degree to which the innovative product or process has been implemented.
• Potential for opening new outlets, markets or sectors for products made of natural fibres.
The Chair of DNFI, Terry Townsend, former Executive Director of the International Cotton Advisory Committee, noted that many submissions were of exceptional quality. He said that choosing the five finalists had been a very difficult process, and he thanked all the scientists and engineers who had made submissions.
Worldwide Voting Underway
There is a two-round selection process. Nominations were accepted through July 28, 2017, and a sub-committee of DNFI members narrowed the list in the first round.
In the second round, now underway through October 5, 2017, all members of DNFI, and anyone, anywhere in the world, including persons who are not members of DNFI, may create a voter ID on the DNFI website and vote for their top choice. A single winner will be chosen by majority vote. The results will be final, without right of appeal.
The final winner will be announced October 6.
The Discover Natural Fibre Initiative (DNFI) was created in January 2010 as an outgrowth of the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009, declared by the United Nations General Assembly. The purposes of DNFI are to advance the interests of all natural fibre industries and to encourage increased use of natural fibres in the world economy. DNFI is a voluntary association of individuals and organizations with interests in promoting natural fibres through collaboration, consultation and cooperation. The Organization (www.dnfi.org) works to further the interests of natural fibres by serving as a platform for information exchange, by providing statistics on fibre production and use, and by working to raise awareness of the benefits of natural fibre industries to the world economy, environment and consumers.