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Clemson University Receives $420,000 Grant to Advance Textile Manufacturing

Clemson University is receiving major financial assistance for future textile innovation.

The South-Carolina educational institution was awarded the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Walmart Foundation. Clemson University will receive $422,549 from the Walmart foundation for its proposal to establish a more sustainable water and oil repellent fabric process, which will significantly cut costs and reduce fluorochemistry usage in textile manufacturing.

“The Walmart Foundation is making a major contribution to manufacturing in the U.S. through its continuing financial and informational support to textile and apparel technologies,” said Clemson professor emerita of materials science and engineering Chris Cole. “We are so grateful to the Walmart Foundation and U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund for investing in our research program — an area not funded by other sources and one that has many important scientific, economic and environmental implications.”

Clemson University, along with five other universities, will collectively receive approximately $3 million in grants from the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund to support research proposals that will develop new manufacturing technologies, reduce U.S. production costs, and boost domestic manufacturing job opportunities. The fund was established in 2014 to provide a total of $10 million in grants to heighten the U.S. manufacturing industry. This will be the third and final round of grants awarded by the Walmart Foundation.

Clemson University’s innovation grant follows the university’s ongoing commitment to more environmentally-friendly textile production. Last year, the university was also awarded $964,000 by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Walmart Foundation for its energy-efficient polyester fabrics dyeing processes. Clemson University’s sustainable dyeing processes will minimize color effluent use and conserve energy usage at domestic textile manufacturing facilities.

“Advancing the production or assembly of consumer products in the U.S. is the number one goal of the Innovation Fund,” said Walmart foundation president and Walmart chief sustainability officer Kathleen McLaughlin. “As these projects come to fruition over the next few years, we hope the research not only enables cost-effective solutions for manufacturers, but also improves the sustainability of the U.S. textile industry.”