Smart Fabrics Summit 2016 Videos

  • Part 1- Opening Remarks; Globe Demonstration; Challenges in Manufacturing Smart Fabrics Panel

  • Part 2- First Line Technology Demonstration; Federal Research and Development in Smart Fabrics Panel;

  • Part 3- DuPont Demonstration; Intellectual Property Rights for Smart Fabrics Panel;

  • Part 4- PurThread Demonstration; Smart Fabrics Standards Panel;

  • Part 5- Business Roundtable on the Future of Smart Fabrics moderated by Secretary Pritzker


Part 1 covers:
Welcome and Opening Remarks

Joshua Teitelbaum, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce

Presentation: “A Market Research Overview – How Big is the Market for Smart Fabrics Really?”

Jeffrey C. Rasmussen, Market Research Manager, Industrial Fabrics Association International

Answers to questions about which fabrics are considered ‘smart’ and the size of the market for their use are often up for debate in this emerging industry. In this Summit opening presentation, Jeff Rasmussen will help define the terms of the conversation by reviewing the various applications for smart fabrics, spotlighting the latest innovations, and diving into research estimates on the size of the market for smart fabrics and their future growth potential.

Industry Demonstration

Mark Mordecai, Director of Business Development, Globe

Globe is one of the largest manufacturers in the world of turnout gear to protect firefighters, and will demonstrate its innovative Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP) system, which provides commanders on the scene with mission-essential situational, real-time awareness of both physiological status and location tracking of personnel. With stress and overexertion accounting for half of firefighter line of duty deaths, the WASP system uses smart fabric technology to collect and share potentially life-saving technology for our first responders.

Panel: “Manufacturing Smart Garments – Surprises, Challenges, and Lessons Learned”

Moderator: J.J. Raynor, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, National Economic Council, The White House

Panelist: Amanda Parkes, Chief of Technology & Research, ManufactureNY

Panelist: Qaizar Hassonjee, Vice President of Innovation, adidas Wearable Sports Electronics

Panelist: Despina Papadopoulos, WWA Advisors and New York University

How electronics products are built could hardly be more different from how textiles and apparel products are assembled. Integrating sensors and other electronic components into a fabric, garment, or other textile product to make it ‘smart’ requires overcoming challenges throughout the supply chain. In this panel, hear directly from the experts who have done it. In a conversation led by J.J. Raynor, a member of the staff of the National Economic Council at The White House, Amanda Parkes of Manufacture NY, Despina Papadopoulos of WWA Advisors, and Qaizar Hassonjee of adidas Wearable Sports Electronics will discuss how they overcame the challenges of integrating two very distinct supply chains – one for electronics and one for textiles and apparel – to create smart fabrics products. They will also discuss the surprises they encountered during that process, and the lessons they learned that the broader industry can use. They will also explore how manufacturing and sourcing for these products differs from traditional electronics, textiles, and apparel, and whether the U.S. now has a competitive advantage in the research, design, and manufacture of smart fabrics.

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Part 2 covers:

Industry Demonstration

Amit Kapoor, President and Co-Founder, First Line Technology

First Line Technology designs and manufactures disaster preparedness and response equipment, including PhaseCore Cooling vests, which allow users to increase productivity and duration of use while reducing heat injuries by gently and safely cooling the body. First Line Technology’s President, Amit Kapoor, will demonstrate how these heat-activated personal cooling products can prevent and control heat stress for a variety of public safety and first responder officers in hot and humid environments.

Panel: “The Federal Investment in Smart Fabrics from Transformational Research to Start-Up Accelerators”

Moderator: Alan Davidson, Director of Digital Economy, U.S. Department of Commerce

Panelist: Stephen Luckowski, Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute, Department of Defense

Panelist: Jesse Jur, Assistant Professor, ASSIST Center, North Carolina State College of Textiles

Panelist: Daniel Cotter, Acting Director, First Responder Group, Department of Homeland Security

Alan Davidson, the Commerce Secretary's Director of Digital Economy, will talk to senior federal leaders and researchers about how the significant federal investments made today will support the innovation that will be the foundation for the smart fabrics of the future. These investments include the establishment of the Revolutionary Fiber and Textiles Institute for Manufacturing Innovation and NextFlex, two new manufacturing institutes pioneering the development of cutting-edge fibers, textiles, and hybrid electronics. Stephen Luckowski, Program Manager for the RFT at the Defense Department, led the effort to establish this institute, and will describe its potential to support smart fabrics development. The National Science Foundation also funds critical smart fabrics research being performed by the ASSIST Center at the North Carolina State College of Textiles. Jess Jur, Assistant Professor at the N.C. State College of Textiles, will explain the unique role that this NSF research plays in partnering with private companies to develop new smart fabrics products. And, the Department of Homeland Security is taking an active role in supporting the development of connected protective apparel for the first responder of the future. Daniel Cotter, who oversees the Next Generation First Responder Apex Program at DHS, will describe the impact of this work.

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Part 3 covers:

Industry Demonstration

Steven Willoughby, Microcircuit Materials of DuPont

DuPont’s Microcircuit Materials will demonstrate the latest developments in their suite of electronic ink products, which make smart clothing easier to design, manufacture, wash, and wear. The DuPont materials have been used to create thin, form-fitting circuits that can be seamlessly bonded with many standard fabrics, allowing for comfort and freedom in wearable electronic design. Dupont’s electronic inks build on the company’s decades-long history of materials innovation and stand ready to provide an alternative avenue to building smart fabrics.

Panel: “Using Intellectual Property Rights to Protect and Spur Smart Fabrics Innovation”

Moderator: Michael Petricone, Vice President for Public Policy, Consumer Technology Association

Panelist: Vikrum Aiyer, Chief of Staff, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Panelist: Lynn Rzonca, Partner, Ballard Spahr

The ability of entrepreneurs and companies to commercialize new smart fabrics will depend in part on the strength of the intellectual property rights in place to protect innovation. As new products or combinations of existing products emerge, intellectual property protections may have to catch up to the new technology. Michael Petricone, Vice President for Public Policy at the Consumer Technology Association, will lead and join in a dynamic discussion with Lynn Rzonca, partner at Ballard Spahr and expert on the interaction of smart fabrics and intellectual property law, about how smart apparel companies can use intellectual property law to avoid landmines before and after their product launch. In addition, Vikrum Aiyer, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will discuss how the USPTO handles new and emerging technologies, especially those that cross existing product categories or create new categories altogether.

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Part 4 covers:

Industry Demonstration

Scott Ballenger, Senior Vice President, Business Development, PurThread

PurThread will demonstrate its high performance, high quality antimicrobial fibers and yarns for businesses serving the healthcare, consumer, home, military and industrial markets. Using next generation technology, PurThread improves on existing antimicrobial textile solutions by embedding EPA registered, non-nano silver salts into fibers at the molten stage of production, yielding unsurpassed efficacy, durability and versatility to textile product designers and manufacturers. PurThread’s anti-microbial textiles, whose specialized silver salt is non-metallic, will not interfere with electronic circuitry and is therefore well-suited for incorporation into wearables and other smart fabrics products.

Panel: “Smart Fabrics Standards – Building the Foundation for Growth”

Moderator: Jeff Weiss, Senior Advisor for Standards and Global Regulatory Policy, U.S. Department of Commerce

Panelist: Ira Keltz, Deputy Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission

Panelist: Sandeep Khatua, Technical Director, Consumer Products, Bureau Veritas

Panelist: Alpesh Shah, Senior Director of Global Business Strategy and Intelligence, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association

As long-standing consumer and industrial products, electronics, textiles, and apparel, each have well-known standards for performance and testing. However, as electronic capabilities are integrated into textiles and apparel, there are questions as to whether existing standards apply to new smart fabrics and whether the current lack of standards is inhibiting development. Led by Jeff Weiss, Senior Advisor for Standards and Global Regulatory Policy at the U.S. Department of Commerce, panelists Sandeep Khatua of Bureau Veritas and Alpesh Shah of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers will explore the current state of standards in the smart fabrics space, whether certain existing standards can be adapted to address the needs of smart fabrics manufacturers, whether new standards are needed, and which organizations are beginning exploratory work on possible smart fabrics standards. In addition, Ira Keltz of the Federal Communications Commission will explain how existing rules for electronics may apply to new smart fabrics products.

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Part 5 covers:

Keynote Panel: A Business Roundtable on the Future of Smart Fabrics

Moderator: Penny Pritzker, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce

Panelist: David Lauren, Executive Vice President of Global Advertising, Marketing, and Corporate Communications, Ralph Lauren Company

Panelist: Joshua M. Walden, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the New Technology Group, Intel

Panelist: Mary Hennessy, CEO and President, Industrial Fabrics Association International

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker will lead a spirited conversation with the private sector leaders whose companies are at the forefront of smart fabrics development and how they each see smart fabrics evolving in the future. Last year, Ralph Lauren became the first fashion brand to debut a smart athletic shirt for the consumer market. David Lauren, the Executive Vice President of Global Advertising, Marketing, and Corporate Communications for Ralph Lauren, will discuss the company’s experience with PoloTech and how he sees smart fabrics impacting the apparel industry. In the technology industry, Intel’s New Technology Group is spearheading the creation of the hardware and software that will power the next generation of wearables, including smart fabrics. Joshua Walden, the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the New Technology Group will highlight Intel’s commitment to wearables and smart fabrics and the many initiatives and partnerships Intel has established to bring this new category to life. In addition, Mary Hennessy, CEO and President of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, will provide the perspective of the innovative technical textiles companies seeking to become not just manufacturers of advanced textiles but also a platform for electronic capabilities.

Concluding Remarks

Joshua Teitelbaum, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce

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Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA)
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 20230
Phone: (202) 482-5078  |  Fax: (202) 482-2331
OTEXA@trade.gov