The ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award was created by CEMATEX to recognise the collaborative efforts by the global textile industry to advance business sustainability through innovative solutions, and promote outstanding research related to the industry.
The Award comprises two categories: an Industry Excellence Award
for textile and garment manufacturers; and a Research & Innovation Excellence Award
, open to Master’s degree students.
ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award
ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award was held in conjunction with ITMA 2019. Candiani SpA received the ITMA Industry Excellence Award. Its innovative product, Candiani Re-Gen is a ‘circular denim’ fabric created from regenerated and recycled raw materials. The other finalists were Levi Strauss & Co and Lee.
Industry Excellence Award
The award recognises textile and garment manufacturers who have leveraged on technological innovations to advance business sustainability that benefit people, planet and profit.
Nominated by: Lenzing AG
Innovation: Candiani Re-Gen: Creating Circular Denim
Nominated for the award by ITMA 2019 exhibitor Lenzing Ag, Candiani SpA received the trophy from CEMATEX president Mr Fritz P. Mayer, at a presentation ceremony.
Finalists Levi Strauss & CO
Nominated by: Jeanologia S.L
Innovation: FLX Customization Studio Lee
Nominated by: Tonello S.R.L.
Innovation: All-in-One System
Fritz P Mayer
The European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX)
Fritz P Mayer is president of CEMATEX, as well as the German Textile Machinery Association (VDMA).
Fritz joined Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik in 1975 after graduating from the University of Darmstadt with a degree in industrial engineering. In 1981 he was appointed Managing Director of the company and became a Member of the Management Board of Karl Mayer Group, taking over the position of CEO of Karl Mayer Group in 2007. In 2013 he retired from the operational management of the Group, but still represents the Mayer family on its Supervisory Board.
Immediate Past President
International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF)
Jaswinder (Jas) Bedi is president of ITMF. Jas is also the chairman of the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF), and the Export Promotion Council, Kenya.
Jas is an industrialist and entrepreneur with 32 years' experience in Kenya's manufacturing sector and holds numerous positions in business and various business organisations. He is also the managing director of Bedi Investments Limited, and executive director of Fine Spinners (Uganda) Limited.
Association of Universities for Textiles (AUTEX)
Katarzyna Grabowska is president of AUTEX. An academic teacher and scientist, Katarzyna is an associate professor of Lodz University of Technology, Poland. She heads the European project about designing, and is editor in chief of the Autex Research Journal.
Katarzyna holds bachelor's and master's degrees in textiles, as well as a PhD in materials science. Currently, her research focuses on nano-technology, especially on electrical and electromagnetic properties of carbon nanotubes yarn. She is also the author of a series of journal articles on fancy yarns and holds patents on technical applications of hybrid yarns.
Founder and Director
MCL News & Media
John Mowbray is the owner and founder of MCL News & Media and the brains behind Ecotextile News, which he launched in 2006. His aim for MCL is to provide inspirational content that motivates key textile industry stakeholders to make a positive difference to their global supply chains.
Back in 2007, together with Marks & Spencer, John co-founded the RITE Group - a not-for-profit environmental organisation that has been merged into the University of Leeds. Since 2009, he has run the Planet Textiles summit on sustainability in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Copenhagen, Bangalore and Vancouver. The last few events were organised in partnership with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
John is an award-winning Environmental Biology graduate from The University of Manchester.
Director Innovation & Skills
European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX)
Lutz Walter is director for innovation and skills at EURATEX. Lutz is also secretary general for the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing. An active follower of Europe's technology and innovation trends in Europe's textile and fashion sector, he has coordinated several large-scale European research and training-related programmes, advised companies, research organisations, and public authorities. He also authored various studies and strategy papers on the future of Europe's textile and fashion industry.
Research & Innovation Excellence Award – Master's
The Award recognises outstanding achievements in textile and garment related post-graduate research. The ITMA Research & Innovation (R&I) Excellence Award for Master’s students of R&I Pavilion exhibiting institutions is won by Mathias Zidda, Institut Für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen University for his thesis: Development of a gear driven 3D rotational braiding machine and its control concept.
Nominated by: Institut Für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen University
Thesis: Development of a gear driven 3D rotational braiding machine and its control concept
Mathias Zidda is winner of ITMA Research & Innovation (R&I) Excellence Award for Master’s for his thesis: Development of a gear driven 3D rotational braiding machine and its control concept.
First runner up:
Sarika Sunil Borikar
Nominated by: D.K.T.E. Society’s Textile & Engineering Institute
Thesis: Sanitary Napkin: A Greener Approach
Second runner up:
Nominated by: Universidad De Buenos Aires
Thesis: TUTTI – Reusable Food Wrapping
Training & Member Relations Manager
Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT), a CEMATEX member association
Giorgio Calculli is a training and membership relations manager at ACIMIT, a position he has held since 2006. He has a wide range of responsibilities in different areas, such as: member relations and association development; international relations, including trade fairs and missions; technical assistance; and professional training.
Giorgio holds a law degree in forensics from the University of Milan and master's degree in labour and training policies management from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.
L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Industries Textiles, France (ENSAIT)
Vladan Koncar is a distinguished professor at ENSAIT, a textile engineering institute at University of Lille, France. At ENSAIT, he was the head of research from 2009 to 2015, and director of international relations from 2007 to 2009. He still serves as an elected member of the governing board, and teaches in the area of automation, computer networks, virtual reality and smart textiles.
Vladan was director of GEMTEX research laboratory from 2009 to 2015, and president of Association of Universities for Textiles (AUTEX) from 2007 to 2010.
An author of more than 250 scientific articles, Vladan's research comprises flexible textile sensors and actuators, smart textile structures, and modelling and control of complex systems.
Institut für Textiltechnik of RWTH Aachen University, Germany (ITA).
Thomas Gries is the Director of ITA, a textile research institute. He holds the prestigious honoris causa professorship from Lomonossow Moscow State University and is a member of the National Academy of Technological Science and Engineering acatech and North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Science.
Thomas serves on the scientific advisory committee of Zukunftsinitiative Textile NRW (ZiTex), the editorial board of several scientific journals and conferences, as well as the evaluator for the DFG (German Research Foundation), amongst many other national & international organisations.
He holds a diploma certificate in mechanical engineering and economics, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering.
The Society of Fibre Science and Technology, Japan (SFSTJ)
Takeshi Kikutani is the president of SFSTJ, and a professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Materials and Chemical Technology at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He is also a governing council member of the Fibre Society, USA, and a board member of The Textile Machinery Society, Japan.
His research centres on the mechanisms of higher-order structure development in the fibre and polymer processing. In particular, he has been studying the processes of high-speed melt spinning, bicomponent melt spinning, uni- and bi-axial film stretching, and fabrication of fibre reinforced composites.
College of Textiles, North Carolina State University (NC State)
Behnam Pourdeyhimi is a professor of textile materials, associate dean in the College of Textiles at NC State, and executive director of the Nonwovens Institute, the world's first accredited academic programme for the interdisciplinary field of engineered fabrics.
At NC State, he received the Klopman Distinguished Professorship for his work in nonwovens, and is an associated faculty in the chemical and biological engineering, and biomedical engineering departments.
For his work in nonwovens, he has received numerous awards, including the ASTM D-13 Dewitt Smith Medal (2004), O' Max Gardner award (2015) and the Holladay Medal (2018).