On Tuesday 4 October 2011, at a special meeting in Bremen, Germany, the International Cotton Association (ICA) and the Bremer Baumwollboerse (BBB) signed the final contract to officially launch the ‘ICA Bremen International Quality Testing and Research Centre’.
The centre, known as ‘ICA Bremen’ for short, is now fully operational and able to offer its expert services to the global cotton community in areas of quality testing, training and research.
Operating from existing, state of the art laboratory facilities in Bremen, ICA Bremen combines the global reach of the ICA with the quality expertise of Bremer Baumwollboerse and the Bremen Fibre Institute (FIBRE) to position itself as a ‘centre of excellence’.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, ICA President, Mr Ray Butler said: “The signing of the ICA Bremen contract marks a significant day in the cotton world, establishing the joint venture between the ICA and BBB as a global centre for cotton quality related matters. Through the combined expertise of both organisations and the support of Bremen Faserinstitut, which has a worldwide reputation in fibre and textile research, ICA Bremen can now begin to offer its leading services to the cotton industry.”
Mr Jens Lukaczik, BBB President added: “Perhaps cotton history has been written today. We have gone a very long way to establish this project and we are now desperate to see it running. To be able to serve its purpose, ICA Bremen will need the global support from all participants of all sectors in our industry. The fact that we have only received positive feedback so far is very motivating and leads us to believe that ICA Bremen can be a real success and a driving force in our business.”
ICA Managing Director, Mr Kai Hughes, has assumed overall responsibility for managing the new venture. Assisting in the development is Mr Karsten Froese from the BBB, Mr Axel Drieling from the Bremen Fibre Institute (FIBRE) and Dr Robert Jiang from the ICA. The day to day running of the centre is under the direction of Mr Axel Drieling and Mr KarstenFroese, whilst administration is conducted from the ICA office in Liverpool. Marketing is also conducted from the ICA office by Miss Esrin Karcioglu.