RISE® Conference Delivers on New Technologies for Nonwovens/Engineered Materials—Virtually

Spunbond High Efficiency Filter Media from The Nonwovens Institute Wins Innovation Award

Cary, NC, Oct. 2, 2020 – Over 150 professionals in product development, materials science, and new technologies convened for the tenth conference edition of RISE®—Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics, held virtually, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The event was co-organized by INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, and The Nonwovens Institute, and North Carolina State University. 

Participants praised the program content which focused on: Societal Issues Affecting the Nonwovens Industry, Biosourced Polymers & Fibers, COVID-19 Responses, Sustainability: Material Science Developments, and Dynamic Markets & Future Smart Machines.

“In this time of unprecedented challenges, INDA’s Team did an outstanding job in hosting the Virtual RISE Conference. In my view, talks covering Bio Polymers and Material Sustainability topics were of supreme value for groups focusing on solving complex material science challenges in the field of fiber science and nonwoven materials,” said Vinit Singh, Product Development Manager, Jacob Holm.

“My goal in attending RISE was to explore new fibers, new technologies, and new market trends in the nonwovens arena for new product applications and market opportunities. RISE absolutely delivered new thinking and approaches,” said Andy Burns, Business Development Manager, Milliken Nonwovens LLC.

“This was my first year attending RISE. I found the presentations to be very interesting, informative, and relevant with topics on the pandemic and sustainability. The adaptation to a virtual setting was executed very well,” said Daisy Campen, Product Development and Analytical Engineer, Techmer PM, LLC.

“The focused discussions on Sustainability were especially relevant to RYAM’s interests, and I enjoyed networking with other professionals over Coffee-Talk and Q&A sessions,” Larissa Fenn, Manager, New Products, Rayonier Advanced Materials.

“The presentation about masks was excellent. I really enjoyed the science presented, and the opportunity to ‘geek out’,” said Heidi Beatty, Consultant, Crown Abbey, LLC.

“I enjoyed attending RISE 2020. Excellent speakers gave very good presentations on a variety of topics. Looking forward to the next RISE conference,” said Hooman Tafreshi, Ph.D., Associate Director for Research, The Nonwovens Institute, North Carolina State University.

Highlights of the event included presentations on The Future of Sustainable Plastic Alternatives and the Impact of the SUPD on Innovation, by Bryan Haynes, Ph.D., Senior Technical Director, Global Nonwovens, Kimberly-Clark Corporation; COVID & the Global Fiber Market, by Jon Devine, Senior Economist, Cotton Incorporated; Sustainability from the Perspective of a Nonwoven Supplier to Disposable Care Products, by Thomas Broch, Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Manager, and Mette Due, QA & Sustainability Director, Fibertex Personal Care A/S; Driving Production Efficiency and Performance in N95 Face Masks, by Robert Green, Vice President of Performance Polymers, NatureWorks; Surgical Mask Particle Filtration Efficiency: Time for Change, by Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Ph.D., William A. Klopman Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University, Executive Director, The Nonwovens Institute; Sustainable Materials and Their Processing for the Future Nonwovens Industry, by Orlando Rojas, Ph.D., Professor, University of British Columbia; and Sustainable Polymers and Fibers for Nonwovens: Current Status and Future, by Gajanan Bhat, Ph.D., Textiles, Merchandising, and Interiors, The University of Georgia.

The program included the presentation of the RISE® Innovation Award winner and multiple virtual networking options, including a session where participants ask-the-expert speakers questions pertaining to their focused presentations, along with trivia breaks, coffee breaks and a cocktail hour.

RISE® Innovation Award Presentation

The RISE® Innovation Award was presented to The Nonwovens Institute at North Carolina State University for their Spunbond High Efficiency Filter Media. The product is a completely new approach to creating filtration media with the right efficiency at low pressure drop at a throughput of 350 kg per meter per hour. The pressure drop with The Nonwovens Institute’s new filter is unmatched by any meltblown structure and doesn’t require electrostatic charging. “We are gratified to have won the 2020 Innovation Award. This is a great honor and validates the tremendous effort of our staff who have worked tirelessly since March to offer these materials to partners for facemasks. They are the true heroes in our fight against COVID-19,” said Behnam Pourdeyhimi, Executive Director, The Nonwovens Institute, NC State University.

Other nominees for the Award included FemTech at MAS Holdings Pvt. Ltd. for their Leakproof Absorbent Nursing Pads and Sustainable Solutions Incorporated for their BlueCON Nonwovens.

For information on the 11th edition of the Research, Innovation & Science for Engineered Fabrics (RISE®) conference in 2021, visit

About INDA

INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of member companies in the nonwovens / engineered fabrics industry doing business globally. Since 1968, INDA networking events have helped members connect, innovate and develop their businesses. INDA educational courses, market data, test methods, consultancy and issue advocacy help members succeed by providing them the information they need to better plan and execute their business strategies. INDA Media is the business-to-business publishing arm of INDA and publisher of International Fiber Journal and International Filtration News, which reach a vast network of professionals who employ fibers, filaments, and filtration systems to optimize their application environments.

Press release was updated on October 15, 2020.