WORTH Partnership Project is funded by COSME programme of the European Union to support collaborations between SMEs and start-ups of designers, art & craft and creative people with tech firms and manufacturers to create innovative and disruptive products and ideas. Embarking on a 4 year journey, the new objective is to support 150 cross-boundary partnership projects, involving a minimum of 450 companies (SMEs and startups). 

Worth Partnership Project

Who can apply?
Every creative person, designer, artisan, startup, technology company and SME manufacturer from the fashion and consumer goods industry (fashion/textile, footwear, furniture/home decoration, leather/fur, jewellery, accessories), actively looking for new opportunities to exploit ideas and fashionable concepts with a high degree of innovation, disruption, integration of new technologies and design, could apply to be a part of WORTH Partnership Project by submitting their idea or project proposal online here.

Applicants, SMEs and start-ups, will need to show a keen interest to connect, create and innovate on a transnational basis. The submitted ideas and projects will be valued based on their attitude to innovate, their social and environmental impacts, technical and industrial viability and their market potential.

The Worth Partnership Project application call will be on going throughout 4 years, with different windows of opportunity. The first call, that will open the 18th of September 2017, will close the 31st December 2017 for the first partnership formation. Application intakes will occur again in the following years 2018, 2019 and 2020, aiming to support 150 innovative/disruptive partnership projects. The innovative partnerships will involve a minimum of 450 companies (SMEs and startups).

Support for participants to form partnership projects
Once selected, participants will be supported in matching with the best partners for them, to develop their concepts and make their idea real. The minimum duration of each partnership project will be 9 months, with the ability to extend and tailor make depending on the technical complexity, maturity and readiness of each project/idea.

Each partnership will receive:
1) financial support to mature and bring their idea to life,
2) tailor-made coaching and mentoring by specialists to improve knowledge and skills related to design, technology, manufacturing processes, and business strategy; access to finance; market positioning support; legal support and intellectual property rights management and
3) networking activities and support to facilitate collaboration and market upscale.

A dedicated Mentor will coordinate the coaching activities, manage the partnerships’ needs and provide support. The result of each partnership project will be showcased in two relevant international exhibitions or trade fairs to obtain future business relationships and increase its visibility to the market by potential buyers/consumers.

A steering board of highly renowned experts from the high-end fashion, design and consumer goods industries will perform the selection process.

About the Project
WORTH Partnership Project is a European Union project implemented by a consortium of enterprises with complementary expertise in providing support to SMEs and start-ups. WORTH is led by the Textile Technology Institute AITEX, (KEPA, IED, DAG Communication, AA Franzosi) with the core belief that creative industries (SMEs and start-ups) are key drivers of economic growth in Europe.
“In accordance with European Union objectives, we are focused on elevating the competitiveness of fashion, lifestyle and consumer goods industries by pushing their design and innovation essence. WORTH Partnership Project is an opportunity for creative SMEs and start-ups to expand their innovation and design abilities through cross-border and cross-discipline partnerships across Europe” – said Vicente Cambra, R&D Assistant Manager of AITEX and WORTH project manager.

WORTH Partnership Project is a continuing edition of the successful pilot project which took place between 2013 and 2015. To know more about the 34 showcased products and results developed during the WORTH pilot project visit: www.pilot.worth-project.eu.