How the Obama Administration Locked in Funding for Fashion Tech

At WEAR Conferences, Vikrum Aiyer, senior advisor for innovation and manufacturing policy in The White House National Economic Council of President Obama's Administration, spoke about the work done under the Obama Administration to create advanced manufacturing hubs by creating Institutes across the United States.  The plan was modeled after the Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany and secured funding for 12 hubs in different areas of advanced manufacturing.  This particular model focusing on different fields of applied science has shown successful results since early applications in 1973. [1]

Photo taken by  The Fashion Robot  at  Fab Designs .

In 2016, a center for New Revolutionary Fibers and Textiles Manufacturing Innovation Hub was announced to be created in Cambridge, MA at MIT.  It was backed by $75 million of government funding and an additional over $250 million in private funding.  Today, the organization is called AFFOA.  If you were concerned, the funding isn't going to be taken away.  In fact, if we extrapolate a little it, we might even suggest that funding for this particular field could increase.

Why would it increase?  The current administration has announced increased budgets for the Department of Defense (DoD) which has historically had strong motives for investing in Fibers and Textiles innovation as well as garment-level innovation.  

For now at least, the politics will either not affect or improve conditions for Fashion Tech, but there is more work to do in creating policies and regulations in the space.  

Get Involved with Policy

Follow what's happening at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST ) as well as the Department of Commerce.  Join the community by becoming involved with The Fashion Innovation Alliance (FIA), AFFOA, and AATCC.

Learn more about WEAR Conferences.