Graphene-based product supplier Directa Plus has secured a European Regional Development Fund grant to fund 40% of a EUR1m (US$1.06m) research project exploring technological innovation in smart fabrics.

Awarded under a competitive public tender by the regional Italian government of Lombardy, the grant will help subsidise a project into Graphene for Advanced Textiles and Fashion ("GRATA") led by Directa Plus and in association with Novaresin and Soliani companies, and the Politecnico of Milan university.

Focusing on the development of G+ membranes to enhance the thermal and electrical performance of textiles for fashion applications, the project is expected to be cost around EUR1m, of which Directa Plus expects to invest EUR308,000. The company will also receive a grant of EUR126,000 following the completion of the project in December 2018.

This grant is aligned with Directa Plus' textile market development strategy and will serve to reduce the cost to the company of developing its range of textile products.

"Over the last six months we have made tremendous progress in the textiles segment, which has seen the launch of several customers' end-products as well as an increasing pipeline of near- and medium-term commercial opportunities," says Giulio Cesareo, Directa Plus CEO. "With the award of this grant, we have a great opportunity to further develop our range of textile products to meet the demands of the textile industry for technological innovation in smart fabrics."