Great Transformation Movement Started in Composite Materials and Technical Textiles

Pre-introductory meeting of Composite Material and Technical Textile Prototype Production and Application Center (BUTEXCOMP), the most important technological transformation project supported by the European Union that will increase Türkiye’s competitiveness in the field of composite materials and technical textiles, conducted by Bursa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTSO).

With the leadership of BTSO, the first event of the BUTEXCOMP project, which was implemented under the umbrella of BUTEKOM within the scope of the Competitive Sectors Programme, was held. In the 1st Information and Workshop event, which was hosted by BUTEKOM and lasted for two days, with the participation of international experts, theoretical trainings and practical prototype production were carried out under the titles of “Smart Textiles and Wearable Electronics” and “Net Shaped Preforms for Composite Materials”.

BUTEKOM Academic Advisor Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karahan, General Manager of BUTEKOM Dr. Mustafa Hatipoğlu, BUTEXCOMP Project Team Leader Richard Smits and industry representatives, as well as Melanie Hoerr from Aachen University in Germany and Matteo Moretti from Oxford Brookes University in England, who have international successes in the field of technical textiles and composites, attended.

Qualified Transformation in Industry

Speaking at the opening of the event, BUTEKOM Academic Advisor Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karahan noted that BTSO has purposed to transform the Bursa industry into a production structure with advanced technology and high added value. Stating that BUTEKOM is one of the most important projects implemented by BTSO within the scope of qualified transformation in the industry, Karahan said: “BUTEKOM, which has gained a different identity with BTSO’s vision, has entered into a structuring purposed to the transformation of both textile and automotive sectors using advanced composite materials. First of all, the test and R&D infrastructure was created. We are currently establishing a prototyping center. The purpose of this center is to turn the knowledge of our companies, acquired through R&D, into products and move on to the commercialization phase. BUTEKOM currently has an infrastructure and machinery that will cover all stages from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 1 to 7.”

6 Million 150 Thousand Euros Support

Stating that the Composite Materials and Technical Textile Prototype Production and Application Center was implemented with a fund of 6 million 150 thousand Euros within the scope of the Competitive Sectors Programme carried out within the framework of the financial cooperation between the EU and Türkiye, Karahan said, “Our project, which started on October 30, 2021, continues for 30 months. While providing training, laboratory and consultancy services to companies with the application center, we will ensure that the production infrastructure required to produce high-performance composite materials and technical textiles is used together with our companies. The project has two legs. The first includes the purchase of infrastructure and machinery and equipment. At this stage, we gave priority to the selection of devices that are used especially in technical textiles and composite materials, which are not in our companies and will raise the technological level of our industry in the near future. Together with these devices, we are creating a common usage center here. The second leg of the project includes technical support activities. We formed a consortium of several companies. We support companies with activities such as consultancy, mentoring and training. When we look at it concretely, we will support the transformation of at least 35 companies from textile to technical textile with the new products they develop, 25 of which will be from textiles within the scope of this project.” he said.

It will Increase Competitiveness

Stating that composite and technical textiles are at the forefront of high value-added sectors and their market values are increasing day by day, Karahan said, “Composite materials are used in many fields from automotive to energy. Our country is the 16th largest producer of technical textiles in the world. We have a share of 1.5 percent in world exports. Our 1.200 companies have the capacity to manufacture technical textiles. 70% of this is located in Bursa. Therefore, both sectors are ready to accelerate in our region and in our country. As BTSO and BUTEKOM, we are establishing this center that will develop the sector and increase Türkiye’s competitiveness. Our project, which has purposed to increase the prototyping, design and modeling capabilities of companies operating in the sectors, also has purposed to create a fully integrated cluster and an effective supply chain for the two sectors.”

Interactive Educational Programme

Karahan, who also gave information about the event organized within the scope of the project, said: “We held the first event of the project, but we will continue to do so in the future. We are purposed to introduce the technologies of ‘Smart Textiles and Wearable Electronics’ on the first day and ‘Net Shaped Preforms for Composite Materials’ on the second day. International experts participated in the programme. First, we held theoretical trainings and then applied trainings and workshops on the device. We also held B2B meetings with participating companies. We discussed what kind of products can be developed with these devices and how we can support companies as BUTEKOM. It was a highly interactive training programme that introduced technology in all its aspects. We will continue these activities on different topics in the coming months. Wearable electronics is a very important topic. We are experiencing rapid digitization. Concepts such as Metaverse began to take over our lives. There is a need for products that will become daily use in this field. In order not to miss them, we also bring such machines to our center.”