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NWI's research consortium, serves the nonwovens industry through both fundamental research and an active program of technology transfer. NWI 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. NWI support has, for example, helped spur the creation of technology-rich filtration systems for purifying air, blood and water. The results of the consortium's research are considered proprietary to the organization and its member companies.
Research programs are developed jointly by the NWI's faculty, staff and Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), a priority-setting panel of government and business leaders who have a stake in the NWI's continued success. Representatives of NWI member companies have an equal voice in IAB proceedings. Meeting at least twice per year, the IAB offers feedback and guidance that align the NWI'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 NWI'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.