Recent advances in technology have brought together the apparel, technology, and textile industries to develop new capabilities in fabrics with the potential to change how athletes, patients, soldiers, first responders, and everyday consumers interact with their clothes and other textile products. The applications for these new capabilities are broad with most smart fabric product development now seen in the fields of defense, fitness, health, and public safety.

The US Department of Commerce now announced to hold the first-ever Smart Fabric Summit in April 2016. The aim is to foster collaboration and to identify the public policies that could accelerate the design and manufacture of smart fabrics products.

The Summit will bring together industries that need to collaborate, spur original thinking among public and private sector organizations about how new or existing policies interact with future smart fabrics products.
The policy issues that will be explored at the Smart Fabrics Summit include: (1) research and development funding, (2) intellectual property, (3) standards, (4) import classification, and (5) health regulations.

Value for Dubai

The Smart Fabric Summit combines two aspects of interest for Dubai:
1. It is a governmental approach to spur private-public partnerships by bringing together industry experts with policy makers.
2. The first-ever Smart Fabric Summit. Smart fabrics have become more and more interesting over the last years, not only for athletes but for health conscious people. Sensor-based technology implementation into clothing for monitoring and analysis bears the potential for more seamless lifestyle within a smart city, such as Dubai.