ITMA Speakers Platform Invites Industry Experts Including Non-Participants


An exciting and diverse panel of industry experts has been invited to share future trends, rare insights and strategic solutions at the ITMA Speakers Platform. This is the first time that experts from non-exhibiting commercial organisations have been invited to participate. The event will be conducted between June 21 and 25 2019. It will also feature panel discussions.

The Speakers Platform is part of the ITMA Innovation Lab, a special feature launched to promote innovation excellence in the textile and garment industry. At a time when the industry is facing massive disruption, intense competition and global challenges, the owner of ITMA, CEMATEX – the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, strives to add greater value to participants’ experience at ITMA 2019.

Fritz Mayer, President of CEMATEX, explained, “It is critical for the global textile, garment and fashion industry to collaborate and to share perspectives and best practices.  In the past, the Speakers Platform featured only presentations by Research and Innovation Pavilion exhibitors.”

He added, “As the world trends towards Industry 4.0 and grapples with sustainability challenges, we would like to offer ITMA as an inclusive platform for all stakeholders to converge and work together to address the challenges we face in today’s rapidly evolving world. Hence, we have invited non exhibitors, as well as all ITMA exhibitors to add greater vibrancy to the Platform.”

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By having industry experts who are not ITMA exhibitors to give their presentations, CEMATEX hopes to encourage cross-pollination of ideas and spotlight best in class solutions. The invited industry speakers will join ITMA 2019 exhibitors selected to make their presentations based on these themes:

  • Innovative Raw Materials & Manufacturing Technology
  • Strategic Business Innovation through Automation & Digitalisation
  • Technical Textiles Innovations and Manufacturing Technology
  • Sustainable Textile & Garment Manufacturing in the Circular Economy

Response from industry professionals has been positive. Well-known experts who have confirmed their acceptance to speak include Yoel Fink, CEO of Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA). He will address the topic, ‘Textile Sensors – Applications and Market Growth’. Other renowned speakers and their portfolios are as follows:

  • Lutz Walter, Director Innovation & Skills, EURATEX, will present ‘Towards a 4th Industrial Revolution of Textiles & Clothing – Strategic Innovation & Research Agenda: Results in Practice & Way to Go’.
  • Rakhil Hirdaramani, Manufacturers Committee Chair, World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) will provide insights on ‘Digitisation & Realisation of Data of the Shop Floor’.
  • Navaid Baqai, Director, Global Textile of Cotton Council International (Cotton USA) will speak on the ‘Impact of US Cotton and Its Technical & Financial Performance.
  • Peter Sestic, Lead Development Engineer, Sigmatex UK, will highlight ‘The ‘Breakthrough Aerospace Materials’ Project (BAM) on Development of 3D Woven Textile Composites in the Aerospace Industry’.
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On the sustainability front, the following leading industry practitioners will share their viewpoints and solutions:

  • Sophie Mather, Strategic Director, The Microfibre Consortium will share advice on ‘Prevention of Microplastic Release into the Aquatic Environment during the Washing of Synthetic Clothes: Results of the Cross Industry Agreement CIA)’.
  • René Bethmann, Innovation Manager (Materials & Manufacturing), Vaude, will share ‘Vaude Expectations from Raw Materials Suppliers in the Sense of Sustainability’.
  • Natalia Papu Carrone, Research Analyst, Textiles Programme, Circle Economy, will update on ‘Towards a Zero Waste Textiles industry: The End-of-use Value Chain’.
  • Roian Atwood, Director of Sustainability for Wrangler and Lee Jeans, will provide details on ‘Engaging the Global Supply Chain to Drive Greater Social & Environmental Performance’.
  • Lisa Rosengren, Head of R&D Raw Material, Fristads AB, will speak on ‘Measuring the Total Impact of a Garment – Environmental Product Declaration’.

Finance forum
As a value-add to ITMA participants, professionals from the finance industry have been invited to share their expertise at the Speakers’ Platform. They include:

  • Andrea Rossi, Head of International Business Support, Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero (SACE)
  • Andreas Oel, Client Advisory, Large Enterprises & Reinsurance, Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV)
  • Julian Paisey, Senior Policy Analyst Export Credits Division, Credits Division, OECD Export
  • Christina Lutz, Export Finance Specialist, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg
  • Cengiz Bekret, Senior Manager – Sales and Business Development BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions
  • Patricia Polo, Institutional Relations Unit, Compañía Española de Seguros de Crédito a la Exportación (CESCE)
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Charles Beauduin, Chairman, ITMA Services, said, “Finance and managing risk are critical to the success of any business. At a time when the textile and garment sector is undergoing major technological transformation, businesses are faced with the challenge of finding sources to fund investments in new technologies, including green solutions. At the forum, participants will be able to get practical advice which will help them make better financing decisions.”


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