ITA visit to South Korea crowned with success


South Korea, 4-9 September 2017                    Together with a delegation of political representatives, of RWTH Aachen University, and of businesses under the leadership of the Business Network Aachen, Professor Dr Thomas Gries of the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University visited the South Korean cities of Seoul, Ansan and Songdo from 4 to 9 September, 2017.

  „4th Industrial Revolution” conference NAEK „4th Industrial Revolution” conference on 4 September, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea

The visit started on 4 September, 2017 in Seoul with the participation at the “4th Industrial Revolution: Shaping the Future Industry” conference, organised by acatech and the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) where Professor Dr Gries participated by joining a panel discussion on „Smart Manufacturing“. Another highlight was the reception of the delegation from Aachen by the German ambassador Stephan Auer in his Seoul residence.

  Tape-cutting ceremony KITECH Tape-cutting ceremony at the opening of the Smart Textronics Centre on 6 September in Ansan, South Korea

Another highlight followed on 6 September, 2017 when the Smart Textronics Centre was opened in Ansan, together with the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU). This unique global cooperation brought the outstanding competences of the partners and their respective countries together, to allow them - in cooperation with small and medium-sized enterprises from both countries - to mass produce smart textiles and to start an international R&D program. The attendance of several high-level figures such as the mayor of Aachen, Marcel Philipp and the mayor of Herzogenrath Christoph von den Driesch underscores the outstanding importance of the grand opening. ITA already opened the Smart Textronics Centre in Aachen on 16 November, 2016. The Smart Textronics Centres concentrate on the development of intelligent textronics products and patterns with already existing technologies and materials like textile sensors, heaters, and lighting functions. In the mid-term, the goal is to integrate advanced technologies, like textile-based generators or fuel cells into the intelligent textronics products and patterns. For further information please refer to the following press release: “ Smart Textronics Centre of KITECH, SKKU and ITA opens in South Korea ”.

The opening of the Smart Textronics Centre was rounded out by the reception of Ansan’s mayor, Mr Je.

After the opening, a press talk followed by the seminar „At the Digital Pulse of Germany: Opportunities for Korean Companies in NRW“ organised by the Aachener Gesellschaft für Innovation und Technologietransfer mbH AGIT und KITECH took place on September 7 in Seoul. On this occasion, Professor Gries and his colleague Professor Piller, head of the Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) group, held a talk.

On September 8, Professor Gries completed his visit by holding the key-note-lecture on the topic “Achievements of Industrie 4.0 and Policy Implication“ within the framework of the i4.0 forum of the Korean Ministry of SMEs and Startups.

“The visit to South Korea was a great success!” Professor Gries exclaimed happily. “It facilitates the continuation of the successful research and cooperation between Germany and South Korea. I would like to thank all contributors, particularly our German and South Korean partners, and last but not least, Professor Piller and my employees Dr. Hyunji Park und David Schmelzeisen.