University of Oregon partners with global eco-textile company

The University of Oregon is partnering with an international company that uses waterless dyeing and printing to produce textiles to open an innovation lab in Portland next year.

The agreement with NTX will establish the NTX Portland Bridge Innovation Lab, its first U.S. facility, and locate it near the UO’s new northeast Portland campus. UO students and faculty members will have access to the state-of-the-art facilities, prototype resources and mentorship at the lab.

“Launching a partnership with NTX and is an exciting opportunity and directly ties into our mission to provide a world-class education to our students,” said UO President Karl Scholz. “We strive for excellence in curiosity-driven scholarship, and to serve society — as a driver of ideas, innovation and prosperity. Bridges Innovation Center adds another layer of opportunity for students and faculty in our distinctive sports product programs, and eventually in more areas across the university.”

NTX sees the partnership as a way to keep advancing its low-carbon technologies and processes by providing UO students the chance to dream big and explore a world of possibilities.

“Bridges isn’t just a hub of technology. It’s where creativity meets practical application,” said NTX founder and Chairman Kalvin Chung. “Here, students’ fresh ideas and researchers’ expertise combine, not just to imagine but to forge real-world solutions in textile sustainability. It’s about impactful innovation, turning sustainable concepts into industry standards for a more responsible future.”

For the University of Oregon, the partnership underscores the success of academic offerings like the graduate programs in  sports product management and sports product design at UO Portland. A cornerstone of both programs is the extensive connection to the regional hub of sports and outdoor companies.

“Our graduates are set up to be changemakers, leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Jane Gordon, vice president for UO Portland. “This is possible by encouraging them to research, explore and create using the latest technologies and processes in the industry. The partnership with NTX takes those endeavors to a whole new level. What NTX does with low-carbon textile production and other technologies will allow students in these programs to be at the forefront of sustainable product and technology development.”

The Bridges Innovation Center may include:

  • NTX Cooltrans: A sustainable alternative for textile coloration that reduces environmental impact without compromising on performance or aesthetics.
  • NTX Eco-Denim: Denim production technology that significantly reduces water and chemical usage.
  • NTX AI: Optimizing textile production processes, ensuring efficacy, quality and eco-friendliness through the power of artificial intelligence.

The possibilities for the partnership extend beyond the UO. By having NXT open its center near UO Portland, the entire region stands to benefit. The West Coast is the center of the sports and outdoor industry, with more than 500 companies in the Pacific Northwest. Companies will be able to test and make updates to textiles more quickly.

By Heidi Hiaasen, UO Portland
—Top photo: A machine for making the NTX Cooltrans fabric