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Future Fashion Factory issues 2nd R&D funding call

Sep '19
Future Fashion Factory has issued its second research and development funding call to support innovation in the UK fashion and textile industry. All kind of companies are eligible to apply for collaborative research and development funding to tackle unmet needs in the fashion and textile supply chain. The projects are meant to drive growth in the UK economy.

This could mean designing new products or services, developing new business models, or circular economy initiatives. UKFT’s CEO Adam Mansell is chair of the project and UKFT is a supporting partner.

The call opened to expressions of interest on September 2 and will close on October 25. After this date, applicants will work closely with the programme team to develop a full application.

To be eligible to apply, businesses should either be based in Yorkshire and the Humber or collaborating with a partner in the region as part of the project. A researcher at one of the three Future Fashion Factory universities will also support each project according to the needs of the individual company.

R and D grants include Proof of Market (up to £10,000), Proof of Concept (£10,000-50,000), and Innovation Challenge Projects (up to £100,000). Businesses will also invest their own resources in successful projects in the form of staff time, equipment, materials and other financial inputs.

Last month, Future Fashion Factory announced the nine projects that were approved as part of the first funding call earlier this year, amounting to over £645,000 investment in fashion and textile innovation.

Future Fashion Factory is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, a £80m initiative led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the Industrial Strategy. The programme is led by the University of Leeds in partnership with the University of Huddersfield and Royal College of Art.

A total of £1.6m was originally set aside to fund responsive R and D projects through Future Fashion Factory. An additional £525,000 is currently being sought from the September 2019 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) call, which would enable the programme to support more fashion and textile related businesses and deliver greater economic impact for the Leeds City Region and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP areas.

Professor Stephen Russell, director of Future Fashion Factory, said: “We’re looking for proposals with clear objectives that can make a real commercial impact. Our vision is to transform the UK’s fashion and textile industry with new and innovative technologies and we’re keen to support projects that tie in with that aim.” (SV)

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