Significant funding for TAMK’s research on sustainable nonwovens
The partnership project, which will last until autumn 2024, was planned together with VTT, Aalto University and companies. Business Finland finances 70% or a maximum of €690,000 of TAMK’s related project expenses.
“The project marks the beginning of a cooperation network in the field of nonwovens. Through the project, we will be profiled as a nonwovens researcher, which is in agreement with the objectives of our new international degree programme,” tells Project Manager Virpi Rämö from TAMK.
SUSTAFIT is related to road maps of Fortum and Valmet Technologies. They are leading companies chosen and funded by Business Finland. The road maps are the companies’ views of the solutions, technologies and competences needed for achieving the set missions. If successful, the road maps will result in further investments in Finland worth several billions.
SUSTAFIT (Sustainable fit-for-purpose nonwovens) is a part of Business Finland’s Bio & Circular Finland programme. The objective is to reduce environmental effects of nonwovens based on sustainable development objectives. Rämö hopes that the project can in the long term result in increased supply of sustainable nonwoven products and even completely new products. Discussion about the topic will also increase and clarify related communications. Consumers will thus have better possibilities to make conscious and sustainable choices.
Nonwovens are textile-resembling materials. Their fibres are bound chemically, mechanically or thermally, which makes the production process simpler compared with textiles. Large amount of nonwovens are used for single-use products which pollute the environment by accumulating in sea water. Nonwovens are widely used in many everyday products. The most common of them are hygiene products, such as masks and diapers, as well as construction materials.
SUSTAFIT produces a lot of new theoretical and experimental information on sustainability strategies for different product segments. According to Virpi Rämö, it is impossible to define sustainability of nonwovens on the general level whereas sustainability can be considered separately in each product segment.
“The project will describe how sustainability can be increased in each product segment.”
Sights set on a new competence centre and cooperation network
TAMK has a long-term aim of building a competence centre and cooperation network to serve the nonwovens field.
Sustainable nonwovens have become important for many Finnish industries. They have growing markets and significant export potential. This autumn, TAMK will introduce an English Degree Programme in Textile and Material Engineering, which responds to the needs of the industry.
“We will educate professionals who make the textile field more sustainable. They are needed now and in the future,” Virpi Rämö says.
Project Manager Virpi Rämö, TAMK
virpi.ramo [at] tuni.fi
Text: Emmi Rämö
Photo: Saara Lehtonen