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North Carolina’s College of Textiles awarded first Wal-Mart grant

The grant recipients were selected for their ability to address two key areas that currently present barriers to increased domestic manufacturing.

18th August 2014

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Denver, CO

Industrial, Clothing/​Footwear

North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles has been awarded one of the first grants from a $10 million fund established by retail giant Wal-Mart to improve domestic manufacturing processes.

Wal-Mart announced the winning school programmes that will each get a cut of the first $4 million to be allocated in 2014. The fund will provide a total of $10 million in grants over the next five years.

“Innovation is part of the heart and soul of Walmart,” said Michelle Gloeckler, Walmart’s Executive President of consumables and US manufacturing. “By investing in American ingenuity originating everywhere from the research lab to the assembly line, we can transform our approach to manufacturing to be more cost-effective and efficient. We can bring more jobs and more production back into American communities.”

New technologies

The College of Textiles, NC, applied to use the funds to study challenges to manufacturing of furniture cushions in the US by developing new technologies to improve both fabric printing and cut-and-sew automation.

Other 2014 fund grant winners came from Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, Oregon State University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Arlington and University of Georgia Research Foundation.

Domestic manufacturing

The grant recipients were selected for their ability to address two key areas that currently present barriers to increased domestic manufacturing. These include:

  • Reducing the cost of textiles manufacturing, including home textiles and apparel, in the U.S. by addressing obstacles throughout production.
  • Improving common manufacturing processes with broad application to many types of consumer products.

“It’s only fitting to work with the nation’s largest retailer on this initiative, a company that is committed to US manufacturing and creating more jobs to help boost the US economy,” said Kevin Johnson, President of the US Conference of Mayors and mayor of Sacramento.

“The projects recognised today are some of the best ways we’ve seen to bring American manufacturing into the Cities 3.0 era, helping to create hubs of innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology. Cities 3.0 is the next era of the American city, where cities are becoming the laboratories and incubators of change by supporting projects like the ones recognised today.”

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