NCTO Welcomes RFT-MII Announcement
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced today that Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) was selected to lead the Revolutionary Fibers & Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Institute (RFT-MII).
The RFT-MII is a collaborative effort between government and the private sector to accelerate the development of the next generation of highly functional textiles from both a commercial and military perspective.
Total funding is expected to be almost $320 million. The Department of Defense (DoD) has committed $75 million, a figure matched by almost $250 million in money and other in-kind contributions from the U.S. textile industry and other sources.
The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) welcomed the announcement. “We are pleased that the RFT-MII has gone from concept to reality,” said NCTO President Augustine Tantillo. “This investment in advanced manufacturing will add to the substantial ongoing efforts associated with innovation in fiber and textile science in the United States.”
“This long range investment will help the United States maintain its current position as the most innovative and technically advanced textile industry in the world,” Tantillo added.
“We expect that it will ultimately spur jobs and investment in our sector while also making our military stronger,” Tantillo finished, as he noted that domestic industry supplies more than 8,000 different textile products to our warfighters.
President Obama announced the formation of the RFT-MII on March 18, 2015 as part of his National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) initiative. The NNMI brings together industry, academia and federal partners to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, by promoting a robust and sustainable manufacturing research and development infrastructure.
There are 579,000 jobs in U.S. fiber, textile and apparel production. Sector exports were $27.75 billion last year. Capital investment within industry totaled $2 billion in 2014, an increase of 50 percent since 2009.
NCTO represents domestic textile manufacturers and related industry. See www.ncto.org.