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Freudenberg Performance Materials launches open innovation competition

Participants are invited to submit their ideas in response to two questions.

22nd August 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Weinheim

Medical/Hygiene, Agriculture, Packaging, Sustainable

Freudenberg Performance Materials, a leading manufacturer of technical textiles, has launched an open innovation competition under the name Next-Generation Nonwovens for external developers, scientists, students, organizations and other interested parties.

Participants are invited to submit their ideas in response to two questions. First, how can nonwovens be developed from polyester, which will then be biodegradable within defined time period? Second, how can highly transparent fibres be developed that are suitable for the production of polyester nonwovens?

“Many questions today are so complex that very different disciplines need to work together to solve them. With our ‘Next-Generation Nonwovens’ competition, we want to encourage all experts – not just our internal teams – to get involved at the very earliest idea-development stage”, explained Dr Frank Heislitz, Chief Technology Officer of Freudenberg Performance Materials.

ideaTrophy programme

The competition is part of Freudenberg’s ideaTrophy programme, through which the Group has in the past sought external responses to various topics, such as renewable energy, water and health.

Through the competition, Freudenberg Performance Materials is looking for ideas that can support the successful realization of polyester nonwovens that are biodegradable within a defined time period and highly transparent fibres suitable for the production of nonwovens.

Idea sketch: Possible applications of polyester nonwovens that are biodegradable within a defined time period. © Freudenberg Performance Materials

Whether from within or outside the Freudenberg Group, all interested individuals, groups and organizations are invited to submit their ideas. Freudenberg has a history of working with external developers, including academic institutions, large technology companies and enterprises from different sectors, as well as individual developers.


Freudenberg Performance Materials will choose the best ideas from the competition by the end of 2016. Winners will then be invited to a pitch at the company’s headquarters in Weinheim. This will give them the opportunity to present their ideas to researchers, developers and managers at Freudenberg Performance Materials.

In addition, they will have the chance to discuss next steps on the path to product maturity, the company reports. Participants whose ideas are picked up by the company will be able to get involved in the development work, from the earliest stages right up to series production and market launch.

Submission of ideas

The company welcomes ideas at all levels of development, from a simple concept sketch with indents and detailed descriptions through functional prototypes to young start-up companies. “From experience however, the better the respective idea is described and presented the greater its chances of success,” the company explaines.

Participants can upload their ideas on the ideaTrophy website. The competition launched on 15 August 2016 and the final date for submissions is 30 November 2016.

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