The International Forum on Advanced and digitalised Smart Textiles (IFAST) will take place online, on 15 and 16 June 2021, with the objective to evaluate the development of advanced smart textiles in the European defence sector, aiming at laying the foundation of a possible European future dual use programme for multifunctional smart textiles.

IFAST conference/exhibition centre was initially planned in Lisbon, within the Portuguese Presidency 2021. Due to the uncertainty related to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, EDA decided to move towards the online format, still maintaining all the features initially planned for the conference and the exhibition area.

Smart textiles are a new generation of materials and systems with very interesting multifunctional properties (camouflage, moisture management, electronics integrated in textiles, etc.). These properties, together with the possibility of being integrated into uniforms and platforms have drawn the attention of the defence stakeholders.

The event is organised within a European Defence Agency (EDA) project, “Smart textiles in defence: looking at the soldiers of the future (STILE)”, targeting the reach of a proof of concept of a multifunctional smart textile model in defence. Due to its peculiarities, the STILE model is embedded within the dual use ecosystem, that is expected to get the attention of the EU industrial/research policy in the upcoming years.

The event will gather relevant stakeholders coming from governmental defence bodies, industry (dual use), academia and R&T communities, as well as European institutions and organizations.

The IFAST forum is composed of an Exhibition Centre, where industries and academia involved in smart textiles can have their stand to show their products, services and projects, and a Conference Area, organised in the following panels:

  • Panel 1. Foresight on advanced and digitalised smart textiles in the European defence sector.

Smart Textiles are a new generation of materials and systems with advanced multifunctional properties which, given their ability of being integrated into uniforms and platforms, have drawn the attention of defence stakeholders. In this context, the European Defence Agency (EDA) has incorporated the Smart Textiles into the Strategy Research Agenda (SRA) of the CapTech Materials & Structures, and a Technology Building Block (TBB) is devoted to this area. Furthermore, other EDA CapTechs, such as the CapTech CBRN and Human Factors and the CapTech Ground Systems have performed initiatives related to “Smart Textiles”.
This panel will reflect on the foresighted evolution of the Smart Textiles in the upcoming years and their role and potential applications within the European defence field.

  • Panel 2. Visualising a European dual use programme for multifunctional smart textiles.

The field of Smart Textiles can be applied to both the military and civil sectors, being therefore defined as a dual use technology. This enables a wide range of potential cross-fertilising exchanges between both sectors.
Due to the increasing interest toward dual use applications, this panel will contemplate different perspectives related to the possibility to develop a European dual use programme for multifunctional smart textiles, analysing the advantages and challenges of making a programme on this matter available as well as the potential roadmap that should be defined and followed to achieve its implementation.

The conference will take place on 15 June 2021, while the exhibition centre will cover 15 and the morning of 16 June 2021. The stakeholders interested to install their stand at the exhibition centre are kindly invited to use the contact form in the website. The stand, as well as the pitch moment on the 16 June, are an additional free opportunity offered to the stakeholders. In addition, the exhibitors can become partners of the IFAST exhibition centre, contributing with the dissemination of the event through their network. Partners are offered a free opportunity to get their logo published on the website. More information will be provided on demand via the contact module of the website.

The conference speakers and the exhibitors are also offered a free opportunity to provide an abstract or poster of their product (using an ad hoc template). A book of abstracts will be published after the IFAST event (with ISBN).

The registration process will start around the middle of April 2021 through the IFAST website. Meanwhile, the interested stakeholders are invited to “save the date” for this exciting, cross-fertilising event. In addition, the exhibitors are kindly invited to use the contact forum of the website in order to receive more information on the opportunities above mentioned (e.g. stand, abstracts, pitch moment, partnership) or sending an email directly to the functional mailbox info(at)ifast-stile.eu

Looking forward to seeing you at the IFAST event, on behalf of the European Defence Agency, we send you our kindest regards.

The IFAST-STILE Organising Committee