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HKRITA Signs MoU for Bio-Based Research in Wearable Tech

The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel Limited (HKRITA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday with the intention of fostering developmental research and the exchange of knowledge around wearable technology.

The agreement, which aims to strengthen collaborative efforts between the two organizations, will impact the research and development of sensors used in wearables. INL and HKRITA will look to develop more precise ways of measuring the physiological and biomechanical phenomena that affect wearable use cases and efficacy.

The ultimate goal of the partnership is to develop new devices and methods of testing to enhance the performance of wearable tech, which is increasingly becoming an integral part of the lives of many consumers, both socially and occupationally.

The MoU was signed at HKRITA’s Hong Kong seminar, entitled “Smart Manufacturing: A Revolutionary Transformation of the Fashion Industry,” by Paulo Freitas, deputy director-general of INL, and Edwin Keh, chief executive officer of HKRITA.

“Sensor and IoT technologies are already leading to wearable devices that allow monitoring of a variety of biosignals and body related data. INL will work with HKRITA to further exploit new wearable concepts, fabrication, and integration routes aiming at increasing wearable solutions and their widespread utilization,” Freitas noted at the signing.

HKRITA’s Keh added that “sensor and wearable technologies will make a great impact on our social development, allowing us to explore more possibilities. Our collaboration will generate useful and productive innovations for industry and society.”

The organization has been leading the charge with sustainable textile innovations in Hong Kong, and last fall developed a hard-won solution to breaking up post-consumer cotton-and-polyester-blended fabrics into their constituent fibers.

It was a task the industry had long considered nearly impossible, but HKRITA scientists developed a process that uses only heat, water and less than 5 percent of biodegradable green chemicals to degrade the cotton fibers into cellulose powder and separate them from their polyester counterparts.