The Discover Natural Fibre Initiative (DNFI) was created in January 2010 as an outgrowth of the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009, which had been declared by the United Nations General Assembly. DNFI is a voluntary association of individuals and organizations who work to further the interests of natural fibres by serving as a platform for information exchange, by providing statistics on fibre production and use, and by working to raise awareness of the benefits of natural fibre industries to the world economy, environment and consumers. Anyone with an interest in natural fibres is welcome to join DNFI by registering on the web site.
The 2017 DNFI Annual Innovation in Natural Fibres Award was won by Ms. Marie-Isabel Popzyk, Scientific Assistant at RWTH Aachen University and Dr. Roland Klein, Group Manager at the Fraunhofer-Institute LBF in Germany. Their submission, “Reduction of the moisture absorption of natural fibers and production of no-twist yarns for use in structural components,” showed that up to 100% bio-based, natural fibre reinforced plastics (NFRP) with low moisture absorption can be developed for application in structural components.
The 2018 DNFI award was won by Velener Textil. The winning process, “WECYCLED® – Real added value for weaving mills and our partners in the textile chain,” was submitted by Mr. Ernst Grimmelt, CEO and Sales Manager Yarns, under the category of Innovative processes/procedures. Under the WECYCLED® system (www.wecycled.de), Velener Textil collects spent cones from partner mills and separates the unused cotton yarn in special sheltered workshops that meet the highest standards of employee safety and environmental protection. Velener Textil has developed a sophisticated method to recycle the recovered cotton into new yarns that fulfill the requirements for color fastness, strength and other attributes in high-quality consumer products. Commercial applications include the production of bed linen and knitted clothing.
Awards will be judged in three categories:
- Innovative products/components or applications
- Innovative processes/procedures
- Research and Science.
The Evaluation criteria are:
- Outstanding scientific work and technical feasibility
- Level of improvement or effectiveness of the innovation over existing products or processes
- Degree to which the innovative product or process has been implemented
- Potential for opening new outlets, markets or sectors for products made of natural fibres
Deadlines: the Closing date for applications is 10 September 2019. Short-listed competitors will be notified by 17 September 2019. Worldwide voting conducted through 8 October 2019, and Winners announced 9 October 2019.
Winners will be recognized by press release and announcement at the Plenary Meeting of natural fibre industry organizations.
Application and Submission forms are available on the DNFI web site (https://www.dnfi.org/dnfi-award).
Download press release including additional information: DNFI Innovation in Natural Fibres Award 2019