ICNF 2015 - 2nd International Conference on Natural Fibers

Dilip Tambyrajah

A Value Chain and Cluster Approach: The Key to Accelerating Natural Fiber Composite Market Development


Co- founder and Secretary of the International Natural Fiber Organization (INFO), Netherlands


Dilip Tambyrajah (1953) is a co- founder and Secretary of the International Natural Fiber Organization (INFO), representing more than 80% of the worlds production of hard fibers. He is an active member of the FAO Inter Governmental Group on Hard Fibers, Jute, Kenaf and Allied Fibers and the team leader responsible for R & D and for Sustainability Management & Harmonization of Standards. Dilip was a member of the UN-FAO international steering committee responsible for the International Year of Natural Fibers 2009 as declared by the UN General Assembly. Recently initiated the Natural Fiber Composites Design platform supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Innovation and the Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands.
Dilip is the Managing Director of Zylyon International B.V., The Netherlands. Zylyon develops, manufactures and markets natural fibers and products. Founded the company in 1991 focusing on renewable materials from developing countries. Has developed and marketed several natural fiber products, with focus on coir (coconut fiber). Is engaged with the European automotive industry for use of coir in car seat production. At present developing Natural Fiber Composites (NFC) for a wide range of applications.
Dilip, born in Sri Lanka, lives and works in The Netherlands since 1977. Studied Environmental Engineering at the University of South Bank, London. Studied Marketing Management at the Institute of Social Sciences, The Netherlands. Also holds a Master Degree in Business Administration from the British business school Henley Management College/Brunel University, London.



Most businesses, academics and the public sector organization would acknowledge that Natural Fiber Composites (NFC) market development needs to grow much more rapidly than is the case now. So why is the market development of NFC going so slowly? After more than 20 years of massive investments in Research and Development, in the EU for example, surely this slow growth cannot be attributed to lack of scientific knowledge and technical know-how. A wide range of NFC production methods has already been deployed, for an example in the automotive industry, to make parts and products. Here-and-there, consumer and industrial products have been introduced to the markets too. Therefore, it is already known how NFC products can be made. But yet the use of NFC is a very small fraction of the full international market potential. It seems national policies are lacking or sometimes inappropriately implemented. The scientific community seems to be lacking appropriate strategies to valorise their R&D findings. Business seems to be too fragmented or too small to move the markets. The current financial crisis has not helped in slow, risk capital.
So the million euro question is, is there hope for NFC as a serious candidate in sustainable and biobased economic development?
This presentation will high light the several bottle-necks that exist in the global markets and propose possible policy related strategies that could facilitate the accelerated market development of Natural Fiber Composites.





  • - Application form (doc, pdf)
  • - Cond. of entry (pdf)
  • - Jury (doc, pdf)


Abstract submission

30th October 2014

15th November 2014

Communication of acceptance

12th December 2014

Early registration

28th February 2015

Full Paper Submission

8th March 2015

Award Application

31th March 2015


email: secretariat

Registration form

Available soon