The RWTH (Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule) Aachen has emerged as the leader in scientific excellence amongst textile research groups in Europe, according to a new ranking service.
Presented at a Textile Conference in Portoroz, Slovenia, Dr Michiel Scheffer unveiled the first edition of NoetonTexrank, a ranking assessment of textile research in Europe.
According to Texrank, RWTH’s scientific efforts stand out from the pack when it comes to the scientific impact of its publications.
It has further identified the Universities of Manchester (UK), Minho (Portugal) ENSAIT (France) and the Technical University of Dresden (Germany) completing the most outstanding quintet.
According to Dr Scheffer, in general the level of research is improving rapidly. This comes mainly because of the growth of research at the frontiers of textiles and advanced applications, most notably in medical uses and automotive materials.
Biomaterials and composites are the most promising areas of research identified. And the Impact of research is especially growing in countries with a sophisticated funding structure, an active involvement of industry in research but also of autonomy in the management of research groups.
The report highlighted that Germany clearly stands out, but the Benelux and Northern France is the hub of textile research in Europe. On the negative side, however, textile research is declining in countries with still a sizeable but less innovative industry.
Noeton aims at fostering more transparency in textile research and to promote a better European research output by promoting accountability and by stimulating a more active management of scientific production and industrial valorisation.
Dr Scheffer said: “Scientific excellence and industrial are not conflicting interests but objectives that can be managed and that can reinforce each other. Europe stands at a crossroad.
“Universities can play an important role in activating innovation and in forming excellent researchers and industrial engineers. However, the system is very vulnerable with too low a level of graduates in comparison to the demands of industry.”
NoetonTexrank is a system set up registering all scientific articles published in peer review journals encompassing the years 2002-2012. The NoetonTexrank 2012 is based on the average quality of publications in the period 2009-2011. The objective is to present each year an actualised report and to expand the ranking.
To view the report, click here.
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