The importance of a strong industry research body can never be overestimated. Often it will be the driving force behind cutting edge technologies and working methods giving them credence and a scientific foundation.

At the very least a research body plays an essential role in providing the industry with technical advice, information and training services, as well as making effective representations on technical issues at national and international levels.

Since Kettering-based SATRA opened its Fabric Care Technology Centre, there has been great confusion surrounding the respective industry roles of SATRA and the FCRA in Harrogate—which has served the textile care market for over 50 years.

Whether or not the textile care sector can support two research organisations, only time will tell. The chance to choose, however, is at least raising questions as to what the industry really needs from a research organisation and both SATRA and the FCRA are responding.

New to the sector and on a steep learning curve, SATRA is constantly redefining its services and looking at how best it can utilise its long expertise and strong applied science background, whilst the FCRA has seen the opportunity to develop new service ideas and reaffirm to members the valued areas of its operations.