Research & Development


NIRI Accelerator - agile collaboration for rapid product development

NIRI’s UK headquarters and world class facilities (C) 2022 NIRI
Global leaders in nonwovens innovation and consultancy, the Nonwovens Innovation and Research Institute (NIRI) offers clients a ‘plug-in’ approach to R&D, through their novel NIRI Accelerator. The approach is designed to support world-class businesses to get products to market faster by streamlining product development through shared expertise and effective collaboration.

NIRI assign an Innovation Partner to a client’s development team whose primary task is to manage the communication channels and accelerate innovation across multiple projects and programmes. Through the Innovation Partner, the customer has full access to NIRI’s extensive prototyping capability and support from NIRI’s 40-plus world-class textile scientists and engineers. Dr Ross Ward, chief commercial officer at NIRI, explains the rationale behind the service,

“One arguably unexpected outcome from Covid is the current global recruitment challenge, felt across all sectors, which is impacting on the capacity and capability to develop new technologies and products within commercially viable timeframes. For companies that struggle to recruit highly skilled staff and train them up to the necessary level of expertise, NIRI offers instant expertise and capability through the NIRI Accelerator, to help clients with agile R&D and support them from concept though to commercialisation.”

For the cost of one employee, clients have access not only to the scientist assigned to the project and embedded within the company, but also to NIRI’s full innovation team and the Institute’s world class facilities. As the innovation director at one £2.5billion company puts it, “NIRI has the abilities and the facilities that we do not.”

Facilities available to companies through the Accelerator include a full range of state-of-the-art prototyping equipment, covering fibre and filament, drylaid, wetlaid, spunmelt, nanofibre and bonding. NIRI’s comprehensive analytical services include fabric structure, fibre and surface analysis; chemical, thermal and filtration properties; hygiene testing and liquid transport, as well as physical testing facilities for fibres, yarns and fabrics. Ross comments,

“At NIRI, we continually invest in the facilities that ensure our clients stay at the forefront of product innovation. With a clear focus on commercially viable R&D, our extensive facilities mean that we can develop products from concept through to working prototypes and then support scale-up. The combination of a world-class Innovation Partner, access to our full Innovation Team and extensive facilities now, more than ever, makes our NIRI Accelerator a compelling proposition for companies - from SMEs to multinationals - looking to extend their R&D, boost output and accelerate product development with minimal financial risk and maximum efficiency.”

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