• Description
  • Speakers
  • Exhibitors

The 2022 edition marks the last edition of the Nonwovens Innovation Academy, since it has now evolved to become the EDANA Innovation Forum, a 2-day event which will be an experience, rather than a conference including visits and inspirational activities focusing on innovation accross all nonwovens applications. 

Historically, the Nonwovens Innovation Academy (NIA) brought together academics, students, scientists, engineers and industry experts. 

The 2022 edition was built around 3 sessions, one covering medical applications and modelling studies, one dedicated to the quest for more cellulosic fibres and other biomaterials and a session on advanced manufacturing technologies.

The pictures of the 2022 edition can be found here

The NIA 2022 was hosted by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. 

VTT Research Center

Dr. Ingo Bernt
Group Leader F&AD
Kelheim Fibres

Dr. Ingo Bernt holds a Ph.D. in chemistry, with a specialization in supramolecular chemistry, with studies in Erlangen/Germany and Valencia/Spain Ingo Bernt joined Kelheim Fibres in 2006 as a project leader in the R&D department. In this function, he led diverse projects targeting the use of viscose fibres in paper nonwoven and textile applications.

Since 2021 he holds the position of group leader of the fibre & application development.

Prior to joining Kelheim Fibres Dr. Bernt was working as product developer and live cycle manager for personal care products at Kimberly-Clark.

Dr. Bernt is author or co-author of several peer reviewed publications in the field of supramolecular chemistry and fibre applications (>20) as well as patents in the field of viscose fibres (>10).

Dr. Bernt will make a presentation on Innovative Plastic-Free Absorbent Hygiene Products made out of functionalized Cellulose-based fibres".

Rebecca Cooper
Postgraduate Researcher
Clothworkers’ Centre for Textile Materials Innovation for Healthcare (CCTMIH) - University of Leeds

Rebecca holds BA and MSc degrees in Textiles from the University of Leeds, UK and is currently undertaking a PhD degree at the same institution. Her research focuses on the engineering of fabric structures for medical devices and healthcare, including fibre-based implantable devices and nonwovens for chronic woundcare. Her research is interdisciplinary, exploring the interface between design and textile science and technology.

Rebecca will make a presentation on "Nonwoven fabrics for non-invasive diagnosis of wound infection".

Jack Eaton
Product Manager – Nonwovens
Aquapak Polymers

I studied Materials Science and Advanced Textiles & Performance Clothing at the University of Leeds, UK. For my master’s dissertation I studied the performance of 3-dimensional nonwoven fabrics in protective clothing. Since graduating in 2009 I have worked for a product development consultancy specialised in nonwoven fabrics, as well technical sales and business development roles before joining Aquapak in October 2020.

At Aquapak, I am responsible for the development of technical products to produce fibres and nonwoven fabrics. Working in close collaboration with customers, I develop formulations to meet specific needs and support the transfer of tested products into the required production process to produce high performance and sustainable nonwovens.

Jack will make a presentation on " Creating sustainable nonwovens with thermally processable polyvinyl alcohol; an environmentally friendly and high performance polymer"

Jason Finnis
Chief Innovation Officer, Executive VP
Bast Fibre Technologies

Jason Finnis is a 30-year veteran of the hemp and natural fibre industries with hands-on experience in all aspects of the value chain. He has a strong background in fibre innovation and is adept at developing intellectual property that leverages the inherent qualities of bast fibres and brings performance and sustainability to the nonwoven and textile industries. Current Board member of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.

Jason will make a presentation on "Sustainable Innovation: Performance Enhanced Hemp and Linen Fibres for the Global Nonwoven Industry".

Dr Holger Fischer
Senior Scientist
Faserinstitut Bremen e.V.

Holger will make a presentation on "Online-control of the wear level of card clothing used in processing of high-performance fibres".

Dr. Holger Fischer, born 1961, Chemist, studied at University of Bremen (Diploma: 1990; PhD: 1994).

Since 1997 at Faserinstitut Bremen e.V. — FIBRE —, Bremen, DE in the area natural fibres and biopolymers (Senior Researcher).

Research topics: fibre characterisation & analytics, enzymatical fibre modification, natural fibres / recycled fibres, sustainable fibre-reinforced plastics and biocomposites.


Zohreh (Robabeh) Gharaei
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
University of Leeds

Zohreh is a textile engineer by background and she received her PhD in Medical nonwovens from the University of Leeds in 2016. Since then she had several years of experience in Research and Development both in medical nonwovens at the university and also in nonwoven filtration manufacturing. She is currently working at Habasit based in the UK, as Technology Development Leader.

Zohreh will make a presentation on "Application of nonwoven fibrous matrices as substrates for thermostabilisation of adenovirus vectored vaccines"

Prof. Ali Harlin, D.Sc.
Research Professor
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Working in the area of Bio-based materials and has previously acted as Professor at Tampere University of Technology (2002-2008) and now adjunct Professor at Lappeenranta University of Technology. He has led several large programs, targeting new, sustainable value industrial value chains for materials produced from renewable raw materials to reduce dependency on oil and the carbon footprint.

His fields are biomass-based monomers and polymers and processing, added-value side products form cellulose production, nanomaterials novel ionic liquids for cellulose, and packaging and textiles responsible on future business development. Previously he worked in industry inventing several patents e.g. Borstar technology, and involved with several start-ups, recently Infinited Fiber Company Ltd and Rester Oy. He has (co-)authored over 200 scientific publications, and lots of media presence on technology issues.

Pirjo Heikkilä
Senior Scientist
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Pirjo Heikkilä is working as a senior scientist and project manager in Sustainable products and materials business area at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Her research activities have included topics ranging from technical fibres and textiles and applications to clothing. During the last years, Pirjo has mainly focused on textile recycling topics and novel bio-based materials.

Taina and Pirjo will make a presentation on "Opportunities of foam forming in web production from recycled textile fibres and on-line binder application for nonwovens".

Tim Höhnemann
Scientific Employee
German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research – DITF

Tim Höhnemann is researcher in the Competence Center Melt Spinning and Nonwovens at the German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research (DITF) Denkendorf since 2019. He studied materials science at the Friedrich-Alexander-University (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he finished his Masters degree in 2015 and continued with his PhD at the Institute for Polymer Materials at the FAU with focus on polymer materials, which he finished 2021.

His research area is polymer processing in general, especially fiber spinning (from melt) and melt blowing.

Mr Höhnemann will make a presentation on "Intermediate-technology between meltblown and spunbond processes".

Taina Kamppuri
Senior Scientist
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Taina Kamppuri is working as a senior scientist in Sustainable products and materials business area at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Her research activities have included topics ranging from cellulose based textile fibres, nonwoven processing with foam forming and other technical applications for textile fibres. Recently, she has focused on development of sustainable nonwovens and circularity of textiles.

Taina and Pirjo will make a presentation on "Opportunities of foam forming in web production from recycled textile fibres and on-line binder application for nonwovens".

Maximilian Kerner
Scientific Researcher
Institute of Particle Process Engineering | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

Maximilian Friedrich Kerner studied energy and process engineering at the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK), where he received his master`s degree in 2018. He then completed his PhD at the Institute of Particle Process Engineering (MVT) at TUK, graduating in 2021. Since 2018, he has also been working as a scientific researcher at the MVT.

His research area is aerosol filtration with a focus on the application of electret nonwovens including the prediction and optimization of nonwoven filtration-related parameters.

Maximilian will make a presentation on "Prediction of nonwovens filtration performance for submicron aerosol particles using deep neural networks".

Ruben Kins
Research Associate
Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University

2013 - 2017 : B. Sc. Mechanical Engineering RWTH Aachen

2017 - 2019 : M. Sc. Automation Engineering RWTH Aachen

Since 2020 : Researcher project manager and PhD-Student at Institut für Textiltechnik der RWTH Aachen University

Main topics of my work :

  • Industrie 4.0
  • Data-driven quality management
  • Digital assistance systems and condition monitoring
  • Autonomous machines

Relevant publications :

  • A Study of the Mechanical Response of Nonwovens Excited by Plate Vibration
  • Added value by linking product and process data using the example of a textile process chain
  • Data-driven root cause analysis and interpretable failure risk assessment in carded nonwoven production (Second Review Stage - Elsevier AIME)
Janne Paaso
Principal Scientist
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Janne Paaso works as a Principal Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Mr. Paaso did his MSc in theoretical physics and his PhD in optoelectronics and measurement technology, both in the University of Oulu, Finland. He joined VTT in 1999, and has also worked as a Visiting Scientist at Rutgers University, NJ, USA.

His research interests include measurement physics, measurement data analysis and system design of instruments using optical spectroscopy, X-ray imaging and machine vision for various application fields, including mining, paper, nonwovens and pharmaceutical industry. He has coordinated several national projects, multitude of contact research projects, and has worked as a coordinator or work package leader in several EU projects. He has published 16 peer reviewed papers, is the inventor of two international patents and is a frequent speaker in international conferences and seminars.

Janne will make a presentation on "New on-line measurement technologies for nonwovens production: challenges and recent developments".

Diane Raverdy-Lambert
EP Chief Scientist Director Regulatory Affairs
SWM International

Diane Raverdy-Lambert has an MSc in Agricultural Engineering from UniLasalle Institut Polytechnique. She joined SWM in 1990 as a product developer and worked in several R&D and regulatory affairs positions dealing both with botanical processing and papers.

Diane is SWM Engineered Paper Chief Scientist & Director Regulatory Affairs since 2015, supporting marketing and R&D with her team to offer innovative sustainable products for different end uses ranging from food contact to cosmetic, hygiene and medical device components.

She has also been serving a global scientific non-profit organization - since 2006 - in different scientific and executive roles, including presidency of the board.

Diane will make a a presentation on "Botanical fibers to produce carded pulp wipes".

Dr. Amit Rawal
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Amit Rawal has obtained his Ph.D in technical textiles from The University of Bolton, UK. He also received Masters of Philosophy from The University of Manchester, UK. He is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship for experienced researchers for carrying out research work in the area of nonwovens in Germany.

Recently, he has been awarded Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship to initiate collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. In addition, he has received numerous awards, including Young Researcher Fellowship from prestigious M.I.T, Cambridge for exemplary research in Computational Mechanics, Fellowship of the Textile Institute, CSIR special research award, and Outstanding Young Faculty Fellowship by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD).

Currently, he is working as Professor at the Department of Textile and Fibre Engineering, IIT Delhi. He has published more than 100 publications in various journals and conferences in the field of nonwoven and braided materials. He has developed various three-dimensional (3D) analytical models for predicting geometrical, mechanical, and wetting properties of various nonwoven and allied structures.

His research interests are not only limited to structure, mechanics, and wetting behavior of textile and allied materials but also focused on the structure-property relationship of buckypapers, electrospun mats, low surface energy superhydrophobic fibrous mats, geotextiles, composites, auxetic, piezoresistive, and piezoelectric materials.

Dr Rawal will make a presentation "van Wyk’s model of the compressibility of nonwoven materials: Merits, limits, and misconceptions"

Dr Axel Rußler
Project Manager Nonwovens and Technical Products

Axel Rußler studied wood science and technology at the University of Hamburg. He worked for his PhD in Hamburg and Vienna (University of Natural Resources and Live Sciences, Vienna; BOKU) on a viscose fiber related topic. After several positions in industry and academia, always related to cellulosic materials, he joined Lenzing AG in 2016. Among other topics, he is concerned with the development of new fiber types.

Dr Rußler will make a presentation on "Reconquering the synthetic realm with biobased solutions".

Dr. Ross Ward
Chief Commercial Officer
NIRI – Nonwovens Innovation

With over 10 years’ experience within R&D business development, project management and technical consultancy, Ross is responsible for the commercial strategy at NIRI and development of the business through marketing, sales, product development and customer service activities.

Ross obtained a MSc and an EPSRC iCASE funded PhD from the University of Leeds and a BSc(Hons) in Sports Technology from Loughborough University. His PhD was focused on developing novel materials for military CBRNe protective clothing and was sponsored by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

Dr. Ward will make a presentation on "Polyhydroxyalknoates & Future Sustainable Nonwovens".

CETI – Centre Européen des Textiles Innovants
CETI serves businesses to encourage and accelerate innovation. It is a place for designing, experimenting, prototyping and industrializing new products, materials and processes adapted to the needs of the global industry.
Visit site
DITF – Deutsche Institute Für Textil + Faserforschung
From the molecule to the finished product and its market launch, DITF conducts research and develops products along the entire textile value chain, always taking into consideration the corporate processes and business models.
Visit site
NIRI – Nonwovens Innovation
NIRI is the global leader in nonwoven engineering and product development and has completed over 750 projects for over 350 customers.
Visit site
Tatham is a manufacturer of textile machinery focusing on equipment for the processing of staple fibres for non woven and spinning applications.
Visit site
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT is one of the leading research, development and innovations organizations in Europe. We help our customers and society to grow and renew through applied research.
Visit site