- The delegation is made up of entrepreneurs from the textile sector in Colombia and Peru and representatives of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Sustainable Fashion Cluster of Peru.
- This mission is part of the initiative «Sustainability in the Fashion sector for its internationalization» financed by the European Commission within the Triangular Cooperation Program Adelante 2, with a total budget of 182,696 euros.
- This study visit is part of the strategic line NexTextileGeneration of the Finnova Foundation, which includes initiatives and projects that work for the textile industry and sustainable fashion.
First contacts for future collaborations on innovation for competitiveness, good practices in business internationalization and opportunities to seek funding in European projects. These were the main topics of the meeting between the Instituto Valenciano de la Competitividad Empresarial (IVACE), the delegation of 21 entrepreneurs of the Adelante2 initiative and the Finnova Fundation during the morning of Thursday 16th March.
The general director of IVACE, Julia Company, was in charge of welcoming and sharing the main tasks of this entity, among which is the support to small and medium enterprises and industrial areas in internationalization and modernization of competitiveness.
After this introduction, the head of External Relations of IVACE, Jordi Sebastiá, took the floor to present the FORUM of Regional Development Agencies ADR, an association whose main objective is to promote regional economic development through business support programs and initiatives. Specifically, the Ibero-American Group of Regional Development Agencies (Grupo IberoAm), made up of Ibero-American agencies with the same characteristics and with the unanimous desire to strengthen ties of collaboration in this area.
Juan Manuel Revuelta, CEO of the Finnova Foundation, identified some sustainability, digitalization, eco-design, circular economy and environment and social innovation projects based on European funds. An example of this is the EU-LAC Digital Alliance, a digital transformation initiative with an initial contribution of €145 million from Team Europe, of which €50 million from the EU budget is earmarked to boost digital cooperation between the two regions.
The morning ended with the intervention of Miquel Suay, a leading designer in the Valencian Community, who pointed out synergies of projects linked to fashion, creativity and sustainability.
Getting to know the experience of other companies and stakeholders
The main objective of this trip is to learn first-hand about the experience of companies and stakeholders in Spain and to identify potential partners for companies in the fashion sector in Colombia and Peru. Throughout the week, the entrepreneurs will meet with institutions, associations, companies and research centers to learn about the sustainable, eco-design and circular economy practices implemented by the Spanish fashion sector.
«This visit aims to achieve business cooperation between Latin America and Europe to promote social innovation, internationalization, sustainability and circular economy in the fashion and textile sector, the second most polluting industry in the world», says Juanma Revuelta, CEO of Finnova. «The NextFashion LATAM-EU Mission seeks to establish future collaborations in order to participate in new European public-private partnership projects on cultural cooperation, innovation, energy transition and circular economy such as AL-INVEST Verde, Horizon Europe and Euroclima+, among others», adds Revuelta.
The visit meets the objective of the Adelante 2 program and is very much in line, in the European context, with the celebration in 2023 of the European Year of Skills, where the European Commission encourages the promotion of lifelong learning, in this case of innovative initiatives with a strong impact on the Agenda2030 in the fashion and textile sector.
The NextFashion LATAM-EU Mission is also an important contribution to the work of the NexTextileGeneration strategic line, which includes initiatives and projects that work in favour of the textile industry and sustainable fashion. One example is the CircularInnoBooster Fashion and Textile project, completed in November 2022 and co-financed by the European Commission under the COSME program with a budget of 1,128,000 euros.
The aim of this project, carried out by an international consortium led by the European Institute of Design (IED), together with Texfor, Circulab, Finnova and The Circular Project with HumanNation, was to transform textile and fashion companies into sustainable, circular and regenerative enterprises.
The project has many possibilities of being scalable both at European level with the Nextextilegeneration initiative, a platform that gives visibility to the 4 COSME projects that share the same objective of transforming fashion and textiles, and in Latin America with Adelante Ventana 2. So much so that this project was presented as an example of good practice at the last SME Assembly held in Prague.
About the initiative Sustainability in the fashion sector for its internationalization.
Last September, the Finnova Foundation, the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Sustainable Fashion Cluster of Peru joined forces to carry out the initiative Sustainability in the fashion sector for its internationalization. This initiative, which will conclude in April 2023, seeks to share the knowledge of the entities of the Alliance to develop and apply support models for companies in the fashion sector, characterized by the promotion of sustainable production that meets the highest international standards.
In order to approach the program from different perspectives, ADELANTE 2 has different components: operational support to articulate the ADELANTE Window for Triangular Cooperation between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean; analytical support to develop the analysis and studies of Triangular Cooperation together with the Ibero-American General Secretariat; and institutional support to develop bilateral Triangular Cooperation funds between the EU and certain Latin American and Caribbean countries. In this way, the program can meet the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind thanks to Triangular Cooperation.
Among other actions, a mapping of certifications and environmental sustainability seals is carried out through the transfer of European and regional good practices. In addition, awareness-raising, training, and business missions have been launched for the benefit of companies in Bogota and Peru to strengthen the capacities of the Alliance’s member teams. These actions are focused on achieving greater impact, transfer and scalability of the knowledge generated.
About Finnova Foundation
Finnova is the Spanish-Belgian non-profit foundation based in Brussels and Spain, working for the promotion and development of innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU. Finnova’s experience in leading communication and dissemination activities of European projects is combined with a solid proven track record in business creation and business support programs, such as accelerators, incubators and events, as well as its commitment to training and employability of young people.
The Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial (IVACE) is a public entity in charge of managing the industrial policy of the Generalitat de Catalunya and supporting companies, in terms of innovation for the competitiveness and modernization of small and medium-sized companies and industrial areas, entrepreneurship, internationalization and investment attraction.
Its competences include promoting and stimulating business competitiveness, sustainable development, and the adaptation of companies in the Valencian Region to market demands and attracting, promoting and maintaining investment, both national and foreign, in the Valencian Region.
Manuela Granada Montoya
Communication Project Officer Finnova