The US-based retail behemoth grants six universities financial support for their work on improving cost-efficiency and sustainability of domestic textile production.
Retail giant Wal-Mart, The Wal-Mart Foundation and the US Conference of Mayors have announced recently this year's grant recipients of the US Manufacturing Innovation Fund at the 85th Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC. Almost $3 million were awarded to six universities in support of their endeavors in textile manufacturing innovation.
The fund is geared at developing domestic manufacturing, making it feasible, sustainable and globally competitive. The program has provided a total of $10 million in grants since its launch in 2014. This is the third and final round of funding.
The recipients were chosen based on their ability to address key challenges that hamper textile manufacturing in the US, including high production cost and limited application.
This year's grant awardees are:
• Washington State University, which is developing an environment-friendly process of recycling cotton waste by fiber regeneration and adoption of wet-spinning technique.
• North Carolina State University, which aims to create a universal and sustainable commercial textile dyeing method that does not use salt or alkali and produce effluent, and cuts energy and water consumption by more than 95 percent.
• Clemson University, which is working to create sustainable polyester fibers with a high level of water and oil repellence.
• Oregon State University, which is targeting to develop a sustainable and cost-effective dyeing and printing technique for smart fabrics.
• Texas Tech University, which is conducting research on various aspects of textile manufacturing, dyeing efficiency and specialty finishes.
• University of Massachusetts at Lowell, which is developing magnetic dyeing technology to address technical and environment issues facing traditional dyeing methods.
The Innovation Fund is part of Wal-Mart’s commitment to help revitalize manufacturing in the US. In January 2013, the retail behemoth announced plans to buy an additional $250 billion worth of products that support US jobs by 2023.