Grant Awarded for Innovation in U.S. Textile Manufacturing

Walmart's U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund awards $2.8 million to five universities

Jan 21, 2016, 13:03 ET from The U.S. Conference of Mayors

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors today announced this year's U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant recipients at the 84th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

Five leading research and academic institutions were awarded a total of $2.84 million in grants by the fund for their work focused on innovations in textile manufacturing. The fund, which focuses on the development of domestic manufacturing with a specific goal of advancing the production or assembly of consumer products in the U.S., will provide a total of $10 million in grants over the course of five years. This is the second round of funding under this grant.

The grant recipients were selected for their ability to address two key challenges that currently present barriers to increased domestic manufacturing. These challenges are:

  • Reducing the cost of textile manufacturing, including home textiles and apparel, in the U.S. by addressing obstacles throughout production.
  • Improving common manufacturing processes with broad application to many types of consumer products.

"Through these grants we hope to help remove the barriers to revitalizing and growing U.S. apparel manufacturing, while creating more sustainable production processes," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. "The U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation's broader commitment to foster new economic growth and opportunity and create stronger communities."

"America's mayors work every day to create good jobs for the people who live in our cities and metro areas. The five projects we've recognized today will lead to manufacturing jobs in their respective cities and eventually, across the country," said Tom Cochran, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "We are proud to partner with Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to support these important efforts."

The 2016 Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund grant winners are:

  • Clemson University, Endorsed by Greenville Mayor Knox H. White, for energy and effluent reduction through innovative dyeing of polyester fabrics
  • Oregon State University, Endorsed by Corvallis Mayor Biff Traber, for environmentally conscious dyeing of fabrics using continuous digital printing and drying of biopigment inks
  • University of Texas at Austin, Endorsed by Austin Mayor Steve Adler, for on-loom fabric defect inspection using contact image sensors
  • North Carolina State University, Endorsed by Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, for developing a non-stop tying-in process/approach to improve weaving efficiency
  • Cornell University, Endorsed by Ithaca Mayor Svante L. Myrick, for recycling post-consumer textile waste and a raw material substitute for new textiles

Support for the Innovation Fund is part of Walmart's broader commitment to help revitalize U.S. manufacturing. In January 2013, Walmart announced a commitment to buy an additional $250 billion in products that support U.S. jobs by 2023.

These commitments represent a significant investment that will help accelerate the pace of U.S. manufacturing. By making production in the U.S. more cost-effective and efficient, the global retailer believes it can bring American consumers more American-made products and ultimately create jobs in communities across the country.

For more information on Walmart's commitment to U.S. manufacturing, please visit http://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/us-manufacturing.

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT:NYSE) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our nearly 11,600 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2015 revenue of $485.7 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Philanthropy at Walmart 
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women's Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart's giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.

About The U.S. Conference of Mayors
The United States Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of the Conference are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information. www.usmayors.org

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SOURCE The U.S. Conference of Mayors



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