IIT Delhi Establishes SMITA Research Lab Centre of Excellence in Smart Textiles
New Delhi: IIT Delhi has converted its state-of-the-art SMITA (Smart Materials and Innovative Textile Applications) Research Lab to a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Smart Textiles.
The SMITA Research Lab CoE in Smart Textiles has been established to work in the area of Smart and Functional Textiles using emerging materials and process technologies, which can directly benefit the country’s textile industry. Major thrust areas of this CoE would be:
(a) Development of highly functional and high-performance textile materials using nanomaterials, nanofibres, and nano engineered materials.
(b) Development of wearable textiles, also known as Electronic-Textiles.
(c) Development of functional textiles for healthcare applications.
Textiles is an important area for India as it is the second largest employer after the agriculture. Textiles contribute significantly to our economy through both domestic consumption and exports. However, apparel sector is facing stiff competition from other low cost producing countries.
On the other hand, Technical Textiles, which are technology driven, are widely used in multiple sectors ranging from healthcare to aerospace and can fetch good returns for the Indian textile industry. Keeping this in mind, the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, has recently launched a National Technical Textile Mission (NTTM) and laid special emphasis on the development of Technical Textiles in the country.
SMITA Research Lab at IIT Delhi has been actively engaged in this area for the last several years and has contributed immensely through research and development. It has been instrumental in developing several novel technologies for the first time in the country, such as nanomaterial based antibacterial, antiviral and self cleaning finishes, nanofibre based nostril filters (also known as Nasofilters) and automobile filters, continuous electrospinning machine, textile based sensors and energy harvesting devices, high performance fibres to name a few.
SMITA Research Lab has been partnering with Indian Industry and startup companies and has taken several of these technologies from lab-scale to commercial domain.
“IIT Delhi has converted its “Smart Materials and Innovative Textile Applications (SMITA) Research Lab” to a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Smart Textiles to further enhance the impact that IIT Delhi can make in the technical textile domain and to expedite the developments in this crucial area. Creation of the CoE has brought together researchers from different disciplines to develop futuristic smart textiles”, said Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi.
Dr. Ashwini Agrawal, Professor in the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering, IIT Delhi and the CoE’s Coordinator said, “Smart Textiles and Wearable Electronics are being researched worldover and it is predicted that this will bring unprecedented changes in elderly care, health care, communications, and sports, etc. The CoE will work towards development, design and integration of smart functionalities into textile substrates.”
SMITA Research Lab, with the generous funding from the Ministry of Textiles, Ministry of Education, Department of Science and Technology, and the Industry partners under various research projects, has been able to establish state-of-the-art research facilities, which are unique in the country and can be used for expeditious development of new smart technologies.
Prof. Manjeet Jassal, CoE’s Co-coordinator said the CoE will help enhance the visibility of the work being carried out by the Institute in the area of Smart and Technical Textiles and encourage faculty members from other disciplines and institutions to explore their interest in Smart Textile Materials.