Textile research and development partnership TechniTex has named Lord Haskel as honourary chairman of its board of directors.

Haskel, a former Trade and Industry frontbench spokesman, is currently world president of the Textile Institute.

He is also a textile technology graduate and founder of textile company Perrotts Group Plc.

According to Haskel, TechniTex was an "exciting" initiative that could be of great benefit to the UK textile industry.

"The combined skills of the academic institutions and the numerous industrial partners means that new products and processes will reach the technical textiles sector much more quickly," he said.

"TechniTex will employ 'technology translators' whose prime role will be to facilitate the interaction between the research base and industry.

"In this way innovative and ground-breaking technology will reach the market place in the shortest possible time."

TechniTex is one of the Faraday Partnerships, a series of government-funded alliances dedicated to improving UK industry by exploiting new and improved science and technology.