Two North Carolina congressmen Wednesday introduced a bill creating a new $5 million competitive federal grant program to bolster high-tech textile research projects.
The program is designed to encourage projects, such as those developed at N.C. State University, which developed mosquito bite-proof fabrics for use in malaria zones and waterproof leather boots for first responders.
The bi-partisan bill, introduced by Democrat David Price of Chapel Hill and Republican Howard Coble, is called the American Textile Technology Innovation and Research for Exportation Act. It wold be based in the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The measure was hailed by the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.
Staying at the forefront of research and development is the lifeblood for maintaining the competitiveness of the U.S. textile industry, said Auggie Tantillo, the coalition, executive director.
Federal research funding for textiles has been the seed corn contributing to the innovation of products and manufacturing processes that not only have put tens of thousands of Americans to work, but have improved our country's overall quality of life, Tantillo said.