WORTH Partnership Project

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After a successful first call, the second call is now open as a new opportunity to develop design-driven products in furniture, textile, footwear, accessories, jewellery and leather sectors

WORTH Partnership Project, an initiative of the European Union to boost the fashion and lifestyle industry within Europe and develop innovative and design-driven products, has announced the first 25 winning partnerships from the first call.

Now, the #WORTHPartnershipProject reopens applications to discover the next round of promising projects. WORTH is embarking on the second edition of a 4-year journey, aiming to support 150 partnerships throughout the project duration.

The second call for applications opened 17th of April and will be ongoing until 24th of October 2018. The WORTH Community is rapidly increasing, with over 700 members registered on the WORTH platform ready to connect and build transnational collaborations.

Awarded projects will receive funding, coaching, participation in international events, professional links, market upscale and access to an innovative community to kick-start their disruptive design ideas.

COSME WORTH Partnership Project supports collaborations between fashion designers, traditional and digital craftsmanship and the manufacturing industry. The selected partnerships will receive financial and capacity building support to exchange knowledge and skills between manufacturing, creative and technology companies with:

  • € 10,000 seed money per project
  • Individual coaching and advice on product market positioning, branding and Intellectual Property Rights
  • Participation in two international events,
  • Networking, cross-sectorial collaboration, and product development

WORTH Partnership Project provides funding for transnational partnerships between highly innovative SMEs in fashion, design and lifestyle industries.

The first edition received over 100 promising project proposals, which were narrowed down to 41 short-listed partnerships who pitched in an international competition in front of a high profile jury.

The final evaluations resulted in 25 innovative partnerships chosen for the outstanding quality of ideas and partners. Partnerships are formed of SMEs (Small and Medium sized Enterprise) partners working in the fashion and consumer goods industry across Europe who can apply to the project: designers, crafters, starts ups, SMEs, and technology firms operating in the following sectors: fashion/textile, footwear, leather, jewellery, accessories, furniture and home decoration.

During the first WORTH international pitching event, there was a high level of individual commitment from both the short-listed partnerships and the international jury. With the event resulting in the genesis of a community of innovation leaders, sharing their knowledge and experience, the expectations for WORTH Weekend were surpassed.

There is no price for that unique experience” – said Sabri Colle from Madesign partnership.

The first WORTH weekend focused on how European creativity and innovation, and the fusion between traditional and new skills can make a significant change to the fashion/textile, footwear/leather/furniture and design based industries. “We have to reflect on new ways of mixing creativity and innovation and expressing creativity through the lens of other disciplines” - Leslie Holden, director of the Amsterdam School of Fashion and member of the steering board, expressed.

Anna Athanasopoulou- The European Commission Head of Unit for Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries, DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said "We attach great importance to the WORTH partnership project. Through this initiative, and thanks to the EU programme COSME, we encourage exchange of knowledge and skills between fashion designers, traditional and digital craftsmanship and the manufacturing industry. Our goal is to help small companies integrate creativity and innovation into the way they produce goods or provide services so that they remain competitive and grow."

WORTH Partnership Project, an initiative of the European Union, supporting collaborations between SMEs and start-up designers, manufacturers and technology firms to create innovative and design-driven products and ideas. The initiative is funded under the COSME programme and is

implemented by a consortium across Europe with the core belief that creative industries (SMEs and start-ups) are key drivers of economic growth in Europe.

WORTH Partnership Project is funded by the COSME Programme of the European Union for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.