Skip to main content

UAL partners with The Welding Institute to create Innovation Lab

  • Written byUAL Communications
  • Published date 13 June 2023
Kate Goldsworthy, 2017, Man-made Re-made

A new agreement between UAL and leading, international research and technology organisation The Welding Institute (TWI), will see the two parties establish a unique centre for creative textile and materials engineering technologies called the University of the Arts London Innovation Lab (UALIL).

TWI is a membership-based organisation, with its headquarters in Cambridge, UK, specialising in engineering, manufacturing and materials across a wide range of industry sectors. TWI’s innovation focused activities include provision of advice, consultancy, and research and development (R&D) via dedicated industry and technology-based programmes, and inspection and training services.

The collaboration between UAL and TWI aims to expand the field of design research and technology innovation in textile and fibre-based materials science and engineering with creativity at its core. The innovation lab will focus on delivering new applications, tools and processes that will advance the knowledge and expertise of the partners and, importantly, contribute to wider technological development across industries that use textiles within their supply chain.

The core focus areas include circular and bio-inspired design, material and environmental sciences, creative computing, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies and Industry 5.0, offering a holistic approach. The combination of scientific, technical and design expertise will establish the University of the Arts Innovation Lab as a centre of excellence for novel, sustainable solutions for the 21st century.

Aidrian Friend, 2018, V&A Tile
We are incredibly excited to be launching the University of the Arts Innovation Lab with TWI. Creativity is at the core of our approach to changing the world for the better, often through collaborative partnerships with those who share these ambitions. UAL has been collaborating with TWI for over a decade, working on projects where design meets STEM research in the textile sector. This new strategic partnership will enable us to take our combined research and innovation to the next level and engage across a broader range of material sectors.

— Kate Goldsworthy, Professor of Circular Design and Innovation and Director of the University of the Arts London Innovation Lab
Adriana Cabrera, 2022, Bioinspired Textiles
TWI has a wealth of experience in collaborating with third parties to win grant funding and deliver shared R&D projects. Therefore, we are excited to combine this background with UAL’s exceptional track record in textiles and their application in the wider context, and by the prospect of what we will be able to achieve together for industry, the environment and societies through the University of the Arts Innovation Lab.

— Heather Claxton, Associate Director of Research and Innovation Global Operations at TWI