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TITK explains importance of investment in textile circular economy

After visiting the Unterwellenborn steelworks and the Rudolstadt student research center and a few hours before the evening Citizens' Dialogue in Saalfeld, Jena SPD Member of Parliament Dr. Holger Becker also visited TITK today. As a physicist with a doctorate, successful company founder and extremely competent research politician, Becker found out from TITK Director Benjamin Redlingshöfer about non-basic-funded business-related research in general and the profile of the Rudolstadt institute in particular.

Successful and in some cases award-winning research work was discussed, as was TITK's strong involvement in the Thuringian technology competition "Get started 2gether". Benjamin Redlingshöfer also took the opportunity once again to promote the currently planned Demonstration and Innovation Center for Textile Circular Economy (DICE).  This innovation center for practical fiber-to-fiber recycling in the field of clothing and technical textiles already has 63 potential partners - both regional and international - who have pledged their support. In order to be able to make the necessary investments of 6 to 7 million euros for this idea with enormous appeal, the institute director is currently in active discussions with the Thuringian Ministry of Economics.

Holger Becker was very interested in and open to both this specific project and the increased efforts of the TITK in the development of sustainable lyocell fibers. He also confirmed that non-profit, privately organized research institutions also need reliable framework conditions. For example, only marginal cuts are expected next year in the ZIM and IGF funding programs, reported Becker, who is a member of the Bundestag Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment. In addition, it has been ensured that both programs are now mutually coverable, according to Becker. In concrete terms, if not all of the funds from the Central Innovation Program for SMEs (ZIM) are called up, they could be used for Industrial Collective Research (IGF) - and just as easily the other way round.

However - and both sides agreed on this - the sword of Damocles still hangs over all good intentions, hopes and wishes for 2024: no new budget has yet been passed at either federal or state level. "That's what we're hoping for now," says Redlingshöfer, "to ensure continuity."

TITK Director Benjamin Redlingshöfer gives SPD Member of Parliament Dr. Holger Becker (left) a tour of the Küttner Technical Center. (Image rights: TITK/Steffen Beikirch)
In the presence of Philipp Köhler (left), Head of the Native Polymers and Chemical Research Department at TITK, Member of the Bundestag Holger Becker takes a closer look at a spinneret. (Image rights: TITK/Steffen Beikirch)
SPD Member of Parliament Dr. Holger Becker (middle) and District Administrator Marko Wolfram (right) received a small gift from Benjamin Redlingshöfer: a terry towel made from the cellulose fiber developed at TITK with vitamin E for skin care. (Image rights: TITK/Steffen Beikirch)
TITK Director Benjamin Redlingshöfer (left) guides SPD Member of Parliament Dr. Holger Becker through the Küttner Technical Center. (Image rights: TITK/Steffen Beikirch)