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The Nonwovens Cooperative Research Center (NCRC), organized under the Nonwovens Institute, serves the nonwovens industry through both fundamental research and an active program of technology transfer. NCRC research aims to craft enabling technologies that support strategic R&D efforts by member companies to forge next-generation fiber-based materials and products. At the end of this value-added research pipeline are revolutionary and often life-enhancing products for both industrial and consumer marketplaces. NCRC support has, for example, helped spur the creation of technology-rich filtration systems for purifying air, blood and water. The results of the NCRC’s research are considered proprietary to the organization and its member companies.
Research programs are developed jointly by the Center’s faculty, staff and Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), a priority-setting panel of government and business leaders who have a stake in the NCRC’s continued success. Representatives of NCRC member companies have an equal voice in IAB proceedings. Meeting at least twice per year, the IAB offers feedback and guidance that align the NCRC’s core research functions with the immediate and longer-range needs of the nonwovens industry.
The IAB is a forum for candid discussion of the economic and scientific significance of NCRC’s current and prospective research initiatives. Equally important is the IAB’s role in monitoring the Center’s operations and making any updates needed to its Bylaws. The Board sets membership qualifications, for example, and actively participates in the recruitment of new members. The IAB also is a venue in which student and faculty researchers can remain apprised of emerging challenges and opportunities facing the nonwovens industry.