Gujaratstartups: On its way to become a major centre of excellence in technical textiles, the Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association (ATIRA) is set to unveil Asia's first testing and certification laboratory in geotextiles at its campus in Ahmedabad. Being set up in association with German lab, Geoscope.
"The equipment have already started coming in and we are in the process of installing them. By March, we should have Asia's first geotextiles testing and standardisation laboratory ready in our campus. On its part, Geoscope will supply technical experts and special equipment and will also provide training," said AK Sharma, director, ATIRA. The laboratory is being set up as part of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in technical textiles products at ATIRA.
According to Sharma, the CoE is being set up at a project cost of Rs 250 crore, which will include facilities in verticals other than geotextiles as well.
For instance, the institute has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the likes of Karl Sruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, Bremen University of Germany, and National Composite Centre, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
The MoU with Karl Sruhe Institute of Technology, Germany encompasses development of new technologies in composites, while that with Bremen University of Germany is for providing training programmes and certificate courses in composite.
"Yet again, this will be for the first time that training programmes and certificate courses will be conducted in composites, and we will be doing that in Ahmedabad alongwith Bremen University of Germany. In principal, the Government of India has agreed to support us on this and we should be starting these programmes by March or April 2011," said Sharma.
Similar to the testing lab for geotextiles, ATIRA will also set up a testing, standardisation and R&D centre at its campus with the help of National Composite Centre, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
"There are not much research or testing conducted in composites, which is a vast area in technical textiles. With this centre, we hope to provide the vertical a much needed fillip in the country," Sharma added.
Meanwhile, working towards to enhancement of the composites vertical in technical textiles, ATIRA has also signed an MoU with the Government of Gujarat to set up altogether a CoE in composites. The institute expects the work on the CoE to begin soon within this year.
Source: Business Standard