The Indian government is planning to set up four more research and training centres for its rapidly growing technical textiles industry.

Speaking at the opening of Messe Frankfurt's Techtextil India exhibition this week, the Indian government's Textile Commissioner, Anil Bhikaji Joshi, said New Delhi's next Five Year Plan starting 2012 would set aside money for establishing 'Centres of Excellence' for thermal protection, blood-absorbing materials and other specialised products and applications in the technical textile industry.

These would join existing facilities already focusing on non-woven, medical, sports, composites and industrial textiles.

Expressing optimism about the future of the industry, Joshi said yearly production in India's technical textile sector is expected to grow from the present US$13bn to US$34bn by 2016-17.

He added that medical, protective, agricultural and geo-textiles (used in landscaping) technical textile sub-sectors had shown the most growth. The Indian Technical Textile Association argues the industry offers a huge opportunity for local consumption and exports.