Textile Clusters for Industrial Modernisation - Tex4IM
The Tex4IM partnership aims at bringing together the main European textile-based clusters in countries/regions where the textile and clothing industry represents a significant share of the national/regional economy, to enhance innovation capacities, business models, knowledge and skill levels and other key competitive factors that will determine the future of European Textile-clothing sector. Only by developing advanced strategies in these domains and implementing then through comprehensive action plans can the European TC industry maintain its global market share and current position vis-à-vis emerging non-European competitors. Namely, the partnership aims at building strong competences and form strategic alliances in the following strategic areas, based on the Strategic priorities of the Strategic Innovation & Research Agenda recently produced by the ETP-European Textile Platform:
- Circular economy and resource efficiency applied to textile-clothing value chains in Europe;
- Advanced digitised manufacturing, value chains and business models principles applied to textile-clothing value chains in Europe, including industry modernization;
- E-marketing and thematic social communities for attractive growth markets for TC product, as advanced way of approaching the final consumer;
- Advanced Textile Materials (ATM) investigation for the development of new and diversified high added-value products and applications, marketable in the medium-long term socio-economic scenario.
The establishment of a partnership composed of main TC clusters in Europe will allow to:
- Implement joint initiatives to transfer to textile operators the basic principles of circular textile products, designed not for being discharged into the environment, but to be recycled at the end of the life-cycle;
- Investigate new means of reaching and engaging the final consumer, eventually widening market opportunities and enabling more personalisation and user-driven design/innovation;
- Build up bridges and trigger technological or business synergies with other sectors or regions, to facilitate the design and implementation of new or improved value chains for textile-based materials and products;
- Design and develop a joint international strategy that contributes to securing, strengthening and extending TC companies competitiveness at the international level;
- Design and testing newly conceived textile products, including advanced materials for diversified applications, that will presumably lead to the creation of new market niches or to the replacement of more expensive and less flexible components in diverse manufacturing processes and final products.
- Retain talents within the regions and the sector, introduce advanced skills still not spread in TC enterprises and attract new talents for the newly established or improved value chains.
The Tex4IM partnership intends to collaborate closely with the RegioTex initiative, a network of currently 14 European regions which joined forces to leverage their regional potential of textile innovation and which support the Thematic Area “Innovative Textiles” of the EU’s Smart Specialisation Platform on Industrial Modernisation.
The precise objectives of the project will allow for the implementation of activities for the direct benefit of the clusters’ members, to better support their competitiveness level, to establish new or improved value chains and to reach access to new markets/knowledge/key infrastructures/partners, to increase and diversify their product portfolio profiles, as well as to deepen the innovation know-how and international competitiveness of their members. The latter will see the setting up of joint, cross sector, cross-regional R&D projects.
The strategic thematic priorities will be implemented through a joint action plan that will lead to the following remarkable benefits:
- Better access of clustered TC companies to knowledge and innovation support services on new materials and advanced manufacturing systems, available for a fast transfer to the industrial level;
- Better access of clustered TC companies to new markets, by undertaking joint actions to help overcoming barriers to these markets, notably for the benefit of SMEs;
- Better access to knowledge through new cross-regional RTD activities, technological and commercial partnerships in key areas of common interest, such as innovations addressing societal challenges , key enabling technologies , non-technological innovations or access to new advanced materials;
- Better access of clustered TC companies to advanced technical skills and talents;
- Increased contacts among TC RTD centres in Europe for an improved exchange of opportunities and know-how.
For this purpose, the consortium has been composed to reach a critical mass and to guarantee the dynamism, capacity, capability and long-term commitment required for such a project to be successful.