The IULTCS Research Commission (IUR) was established under president Marc Folachier to help focus global research on the needs of the industry. Under the recent leadership of Dr Tegtmeyer and with the help of president Elton Hurlow, the IUR established criteria for research platforms and a process by which projects that comply with these criteria become candidates for the IUR certificate of approval. The IUR will not sponsor specific R&D activities, but approved projects should fulfil criteria for public funding and make it easier for individuals to apply for specific grants. The process will also serve as a networking platform for individual researchers and innovators to make it easier to find the right contacts for discussion and collaboration around the world.

The aim of the first project submitted by Professor Kuo and approved by the IUR is to help the Taiwan tanning industry meet local effluent standards by looking at reduction, recycle and re-use of wastewater by Water Cascade Analysis, and with an emphasis on reducing chemical additions, sludge production, and cost. The IUR Commission felt that the principles employed were of global interest for the leather industry and gave their support to the project. It is anticipated that certification from a legitimate body such as the IUR will improve regional funding opportunities for individual researchers, but also facilitate global communication and provide networking opportunities for scientists working on leather industry projects.

There is a need for new ideas and technologies for the industry to maintain a competitive leather profile in a modern, competitive, and fast changing consumer world. The IUR will support worldwide R&D activities with the goal of improving best practice manufacturing technologies from an aesthetical, ecological, and economical point of view. ‘With this new certification process we hope to support as many R&D facilities as possible around the world to get funds for innovative R&D project ideas inline with the IULTCS guidelines. With the official support from IULTCS hopefully the importance and the need of the project could be made clearer, which should lead to higher prioritisation in the authorisation process’, Tegtmeyer said.