EUREKA / Eurostars: Industrial partners are sought to develop an innovative wear-free textile ski base

A German university seeks partners for a research project to make skiing more sustainable by developing a new environmentally friendly ski that does not require wax. Basis for the development is a modular construction with textile material. Partners sought are SMEs with coating expertise, ski producers and possibly producers of ski wax, interested in alternative products. Research cooperation is envisaged within the Eureka / Eurostars programme or similar funding schemes.
In recent years, the number of winter sports enthusiasts has increased dramatically. However, the great popularity of skiing and snowboarding is causing environmental problems. Due to environmental and health concerns about the use of fluorinated ski waxes, they will be banned starting from the 2020/21 winter season. Even so, the abrasion of the waxes finds its way into the environment via the slopes and snow. In addition, the wax must be renewed regularly to ensure perfect gliding properties and is therefore not sustainable. For this reason, a German university institute is setting up a research project with the objective to enable skiing and snowboarding without the use of wax. An innovative textile ski base is to be developed which is wear-free and environmentally friendly. The new textile ski base will be attached to the ski with a clip connection in a few easy steps. This innovative modular ski construction will also make it possible to adapt the base to the needs of the individual skier, e.g. individual skills or weather conditions. A number of challenges and research questions are addressed by the project. For example, the geometry and function of the clip connection, as well as the force transmission to the edges of the ski, must be investigated. With regard to the textile base, it must also be examined how the sliding properties of the ski can be adjusted by a suitable coating ensuring good environmental compatibility, recyclability and abrasion resistance. The German university institute will contribute their material and process know-how in textiles, preforming, composites production and automation. They will take care of the preparatory work on ski production. They have relevant machinery at disposal, such as CNC (computerized numerical control) cutter, autoclave and robots for handling and sewing. In order to complete the consortium they seek SME partners from the field of textile or plastics coating, interested in developing sustainable solutions for research cooperation agreements. Producers of skis are also sought and possibly producers of ski wax who are interested in finding new solutions and expanding their portfolio. The target call is EUREKA Eurostars with the first call in spring 2021 (deadline not published to date) or another similar funding scheme, e.g. cross-border bilateral programmes. Deadline for EoI: 15 December 2020
Type (e.g. company, R&D institution…), field of industry and Role of Partner Sought: 
Partners are sought for research agreements within the EUREKA/Eurostars funding scheme or similar programmes, e.g. transnational bilateral schemes. Partners sought are: • Producers of skis that are interested to rethink established ski base material • Companies with expertise in coating of textiles, plastics or similar that want to use environmentally friendly materials for the ski base of the future • Optional: Producers of ski wax who want to open a new business segment in the field of ski bases
Stage of Development: 
Concept stage
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