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Wear Sustain launches €2.4m competition on e-textiles
24
Apr '17
Courtesy: Queen Mary University of London
Courtesy: Queen Mary University of London
Wear Sustain, an initiative by seven organisations across Europe including Queen Mary University of London and University for the Creative Arts, has launched the first of its two competition call-outs, seeking those from art, design, technology, engineering and businesses to co-develop ethical and sustainable solutions for wearable technology and e-textiles.

As per the call-out, a total fund of €2.4 million will offer 48 teams up to €50,000 each in support via innovation vouchers and with input from mentors, experts and hubs across Europe to develop prototypes and help take ideas to market. The prototypes will exemplify innovations, ethics and sustainability in wearable technology and e-textiles and will be exhibited at a final showcase event in late 2018.

A series of events will take place across Europe at local project hubs during the project’s first open call to fund up to 24 teams. The competition deadline is 31 May 2017. A second open call will take place in November-December 2017 to fund another 24 projects.

Rachel Lasebikan, senior research and innovation manager at Queen Mary University of London, said: “This project represents such a rare opportunity for people and businesses in different sectors to collaborate and also access real financial support and expertise in areas such as prototyping, business and venturing. We’re not looking for experts in wearables but to help get great ideas off the ground and, set a benchmark for ethics and sustainability in the technology field.”

Wear Sustain’s goal, in line with the European Commission’s, is to develop best practices for future creative and technology collaborations, besides creating sustainable and ethical innovation methodologies for wearable technology, smart and electronic textiles.

Applicants must address one of seven ethics and sustainability themes such as manufacturing, waste, energy and health, as well as personal data and ethics during the development of their prototypes.

A sustainability strategy and free online handbook will be published at the end of the project to enable citizens, entrepreneurs and other industry stakeholders become more aware of the issues in making and using wearable technologies, and to encourage the use of recommended best practices for the future of society.

Dr Camille Baker, Reader at University of the Creative Arts, said: “Our aim is to boost synergies between technology and the arts across Europe and highlight awareness of ethics in technology, using wearables and e-textiles to explore key issues such as personal data, ethics and sustainability in current technology use. Through this process Wear Sustain will help pave the way towards a new generation of wearables and e-textiles that are more ethical, critical and aesthetic. ” (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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