58th Dornbirn Global Fiber Congress (Dornbirn-GFC): International Network Generator Of The Fiber- And Textile Industry

WIEN, Austria — September 25, 2019 — At Dornbirn-GFC, more than 100 international speakers from industry and research presented their latest innovations and trends of the global fiber and textile industry from September 11-13, 2019.

From the perspective of the fiber industry top plenary lectures led by Robert van de Kerkhof/CCO Lenzing AG and Uday Gill/CEO Indorama Ventures focused on sustainability. How can software industry support sustainable industry? – This question was outlined by impressing examples from Robert Rosellen/Dir Microsoft und Stefan Achleitner/Research Palo Alto Networks.

Top-class scientific lectures from academic research and from industry generated impetus to the participants for their future innovative actions. Also this year over 700 attendees from more than 30 nations participated in the world`s biggest fiber innovation congress. Particularly companies from Asia and Turkey showed significant interest.

As an additional innovative enhancement of the Congress the Dornbirn-GFC STARTUP DAYS took place for the first time this year. In cooperation with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) over 20 startups had the possibility to present their innovations in a custom-built tent on the congress area.

Dornbirn-GFC as network generator – for the second time the Congress App enabled the participants successfully to network with each other.

Also 2019 most of the attendees accepted the invitation to the legendary Mayoress Evening at the „Trade Fair Area Dornbirn“. A delicious catering, intensive networking and finally the fashion show contributed to a terrific evening.


From September 11-12, 2019, the 1st Dornbirn-GFC STARTUP DAYS took place. The highly anticipated event turned out to be successful. Supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) about 20 international startups were selected and invited to Dornbirn. According to the motto “Come and see where Startups meet Industry, Research and Brands“ the young entrepreneurs had the possibility to take part in many of the hundred expert lectures and to present their innovations in the event tent.

STARTUP AWARD: an international expert jury selected the three top projects which were awarded prize money by Lenzing AG and could also look forward to consulting services and further support by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Sustainability/Circular Economy – are we leading or lagging?

Walter Woitsch/Partner Syngroup opened the CEO Panel with this question on the opening day. A controversial discussion among the representatives of the European Textile Association (Mauro Scalia/Dir EURATEX), the fast growing Sports Brand Lululemon (Yogendra Dandapure/Dir Lululemon) and the world`s biggest fiber producers (Uday Gill/CEO Indorama Ventures, Robert van de Kerkhof/CCO Lenzing AG, Gunjan Sharma/CMO Reliance).

The following quote elucidates the explosiveness of the topic once again:

“The whole textile industry is focused on the consumer relating to measurements for climate protection and against environmental pollution. Circular economy is one of the solutions in order to avoid negative effects from daily acting versus nature. Only if our branch can handle these challenges on a global basis, we can obtain our societal acceptance and continue the strong growth of the last years. “

Robert van de Kerkhof/CCO Lenzing AG

Digitalization: Innovation Boost for Europe?

How is Europe performing compared to the USA or China? Josef Mantl/CEO JMC opened this complex topic with the Cyber Security expert from California Stefan Achleitner/Research Palo Alto Networks and the digitalization consultant Thomas Riegler/Partner PwC.

But how is the actual “digital footprint“ of the European mechanical engineering industry compared to the USA and Asia?  In terms of this question Jochen Adler/CTO Oerlikon und Martin Ohneberg/CEO Henn, as well as Robert Rosellen/Dir from the software giant Microsoft could clearly demonstrate the leading role of the European industry.

Paul Schlack/Wilhelm Albrecht Prize 2019

A top jury of experts in research and development selected the following diploma thesis as winning project:

Vera Gail, University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein (GER)
Thermosensitive nano-membrane – Suitability of the electrospinning process for processing a shape memory polymer based on polyurethane

The great tribute took place on the opening day and was still celebrated at the mayoress evening.

4th Young Scientist Forum

Under the leadership of Syngroup Consulting, around 15 young researchers discussed the question at this year’s Young Scientist Forum: Quo vadis in research: “Startups”, “Circular Economy”, “Smart Textiles” – New Challenges in the Traditional Innovation Process?

Sponsors and Partners

International and global cooperation between industry and research lay the foundation for tomorrow. Special thanks to our loyal sponsors and partners, who support and promote this collaboration intensively.

Lenzing AG, the world’s largest and most innovative cellulose fiber manufacturer, is represented as “the” lead sponsor at the congress.

It is especially gratifying to have PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the leading international auditors, as an important partner for the Dornbirn-GFC 2019.

  • AVANTEX/Messe
  • Frankfurt France (FRA)
  • Techtextil/Messe Frankfurt (GER)
  • CHT Beitlich (GER)
  • Dralon (GER)
  • Ecoplus. Niederösterreichs Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH (AUT)
  • Gherzi Textil Organisation (SUI)
  • Glanzstoff Industries/Indorama (AUT)
  • Groz Beckert (GER)
  • IFG Asota (AUT)
  • IKV Innovative Kunststoffveredlung (GER)
  • Industriellenvereinigung Vorarlberg (AUT)
  • JMC Josef Mantl Communications GmbH (AUT)
  • Kunstuniversität Linz (AUT)
  • Land Vorarlberg (AUT)
  • Lenzing AG (AUT)
  • Märkische Faser (GER)
  • Microsoft (AUT)
  • Oerlikon Manmade Fibers (GER)
  • Perlon Nextrusion Monofil (GER)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC (AUT)
  • PHP Fibers/Indorama (GER)
  • Saurer AG (SUI)
  • Stadt Dornbirn (AUT)
  • Trevira/Indorama (GER)
  • WISTO – Wirtschaftsstandort Vorarlberg GmbH (AUT)
  • WKO Wirtschaftskammer Vorarlberg (AUT)

Posted October 22, 2019