Reasons for the Action
This COST Action aims to meet European economic needs and to contribute to scientific and technological development.
Major textile producers as well as machinery manufacturers exist in Western countries like Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Austria. In Europe, the competitive gap for textile applications in the construction sector, compared to other world regions, is increasing due to the conservativeness of the construction industry on the one hand and the only slowly evolving textile technology on the other hand. Coordinated research programmes and collaboration with multi-disciplinary teams will allow SME communities to generate significant competitive advantage, in relation to low cost producers.
For the whole tensile and foil architecture research community, as well as for practising architects, engineers, manufacturers and installers in Europe, it would be a significant and beneficial step if on-going research were to be embedded in a larger contextual and temporal framework. Currently, when a fixed-term research grant comes to its end, the research expertise is often dissipated. Having better communication about the studies, methodologies and results will consolidate and enhance the research output, and will ensure better continuity in research programmes.
By connecting European researchers, complementarities in research topics and applications will be identified. This way, innovation is triggered and development of advanced textile machines, manufacturing processes, new products and applications beyond conventional boundaries is facilitated (to include, for example, chemical, electrical, environmental, transport, and acoustics engineers, materials scientists, and industry practitioners). This would in turn increase the competitiveness of EU companies in the world market.
European standardisation will also be strongly influenced and facilitated by this COST Action. Clearly, a comparison of the different design and analysis approaches will provide essential input for the creation of uniform directives and design rules (Eurocodes), which is important for the future construction of optimal and safe membrane structures and structural skins. The harmonisation of standards is crucial for Europe’s role in the international market.