Company perspective

Company perspective

Future perspective

In the decade ahead, TenCate will grow on the basis of its clear vision of the future.

Ongoing change

TenCate will undergo the following changes in both the near and distant future:

  • Towards continued social innovation and employment of an ever higher calibre
  • Towards a continental organizational structure with decentralized network teams
  • Towards a doubling of sales and a presence on all continents
  • Towards on-demand delivery and mass customization on the back of digital inkjet finishing
  • Towards new material characteristics, recyclable and bio-based products 
  • Towards further reduction in the CO2 footprint of processes and products
  • Towards smart textiles and smart solutions for growing ambient intelligence 
  • Towards factories of the future with clean rooms and increasing robotization 
  • Towards integrated, multilayer smart textile systems that can be produced in a single process batch

Structural change

As the market leader in materials technology, TenCate sets great store by its vision of structural change. Turning this vision into reality through advanced materials – such as technical textiles – starts with visualization of the future

Intelligent environment

The vision of the future by the TenCate technical textiles group is instrumental in fulfilling the promise of Ambient Intelligence, the creation of an intelligent environment that is sensitive to and reacts to the presence of people. End-users and their protection are a key element of this. Smart textiles will form an integral part of people’s physical environment.

The future starts today: with road maps, strategies, scenarios, tactics and the business model. TenCate as a B2B company has concentrated in the past decade on market-oriented value chain management. In the decade ahead this approach will be strengthened and developed. 

Smart solutions

Contributing to this value chain management will be underlying, future-oriented enablers with their own motives. Global trends and new applications are the enablers for the innovation of existing markets, and these both require smart solutions. The two most important trends for existing markets of TenCate are safety and protection, sustainability and the environment. These will continue to be of crucial importance in both the near and distant future. Numerous underlying themes will emerge from these trends, including active protection, lightweight solutions, drinking water and other water management, and sport aspects. New applications are the indicators of future markets. 

Road maps

TenCate is monitoring these future-oriented enablers by means of end-user roadmaps (new applications), technology roadmaps (new functionalities) and product roadmaps (product innovations), thus enabling the organization to look ahead to developments that will occur in five, ten or twenty years’ time.

Smart textiles

The near future offers TenCate, as a producer of advanced materials, a number of certainties. Mass customization and on-demand delivery must be available for the production of ambient intelligent materials. The development of special techniques and technologies will enable new characteristics to be created in the production of smart textiles.

Factory of the future

These will satisfy the growing requirements of end-users. The textile industry needs advanced production technologies, such as inkjet technology and nanotechnology, for cost leadership and functional innovations. These technologies represent important conditions for mass customization and on-demand delivery in the factories of the future.

Digital finishing

TenCate is making the transition from the analogue finishing of textile materials to digital finishing. The vision of TenCate focuses on fully continuous inkjet finishing. Numerous existing and future characteristics can be altered or added to a growing range of substrates. Despite this complex development, the processes of TenCate will have been completely overhauled and made more sustainable following the implementation of this new technology (significant reductions in energy and water consumption and in the use of wet chemicals).

New applications

This technology will enable TenCate to respond more rapidly to market demand and to meet the constant need for cost reductions. It will also make it possible to introduce an infinite number of new applications. When new characteristics can be offered – such as an active self-cleaning capability – TenCate will be able to create and exploit new markets. Ultimately, these technological developments will lead TenCate to integrated, multilayer smart textile systems that will be produced in a single process batch.


The ambition of TenCate is to double its annual turnover to approximately 2 billion euros within five years.

Historical perspective

In the past decade, TenCate has grown on the basis of its vision of transformation.

Realized change

TenCate has undergone the following transformations:

  • From a diversified conglomerate into a coherent technology group with leading positions in niche markets worldwide
  • By applying focus a unique company has been created that is distinctive in the functional materials (technical textiles) sector
  • From a locally-based company into a multinational, operating on four continents
  • From an anonymous B2C company in consumer markets into a visible B2B company, with trend-setting solutions in the field of protective fabrics; space and aerospace composites; armour; infrastructure and water management; and synthetic turf  
  • From a producer of manufactures and semi-manufactures (production-dominant) into a supplier of integrated system solutions with partners (outside-in approach)
  • By placing the emphasis on groundbreaking technological innovations and open innovation
  • By increasingly meeting sustainability criteria, both in its production processes and in the inherently sustainable solutions that it produces for market players
Blue fabric (Tecawork Blue 65287)