- This mission 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.
- NextFashion LATAM-EU is part of the initiative «Sustainability in the Fashion sector for its internationalization» financed by the European Commission within the Triangular Cooperation Program of Adelante 2, with a total budget of 182,696 euros.
- The mission is composed of a delegation of entrepreneurs from the textile sector of Colombia and Peru, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota and the Sustainable Fashion Cluster of Peru and members of the Finnova team.
Innovation, good practices in competitiveness and internationalization, the generation of new consortiums and funding opportunities in European projects were the protagonists of these days of the NextFashion LATAM-EU Mission. The delegation of entrepreneurs from Colombia and Peru visited ATEVAL, INESCOP, IVACE and KOOPERA, leading entities in the Spanish fashion and textile ecosystem, in the Valencian Community.
During the visits, projects on sustainability, digitalization, eco-design, circular economy, and social innovation based on European funds were successfully identified to give projection to this Mission. An example of these is the EU-LAC Digital Alliance, a digital transformation initiative with an initial contribution of 145 million euros to boost digital cooperation between Europe and Latin America.
The Adelante 2 delegation, accompanied by Finnova, started the agenda of Wednesday 15 March with a visit to ATEVAL, Association of Textile Manufacturers, in Ontinyent. Pepe Serna, general secretary, and president of the Spanish Intertextile Council together with the manager Salóme Beneyto, in charge of starting the meeting. In this meeting, the main activities of the mission were presented, and at the same time, it served to look for possible synergies.
Following the agenda, the delegation travelled to the town of Elda to continue with a visit to INESCOP, the Technological Institute of Footwear, a benchmark for providing technological services and research on issues of general interest to the footwear and leather sector. The reception of this meeting was carried out by Esperanza Almodóvar, European project manager and Paqui Arán, R&D coordinator at INESCOP and secretary of the Spanish Adhesion and Adhesives Group ASEFCA, who facilitated the main objectives of the visit: to get to know the facilities, the mission of the center and to see the operation of the Circular Industry Demonstrator.
After a networking lunch, they left for the Valencian capital to continue with the visits on Thursday 16th March, which began at IVACE, the Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness. Julia Company, Director General of the Institute, was in charge of welcoming the visitors and sharing the main tasks of this entity, among which are the support to small companies and industrial areas in internationalization and modernization of competitiveness. After this introduction, the Head of External Relations, Jordi Sebastián, took the floor to present the Ibero-American Group of Regional Development Agencies (Grupo IberoAm) and the possible synergies of this entity with the delegation.
The Valencia chapter ended with Koopera, a group of social initiative cooperatives and insertion companies. Ana Belén Cabrera, head of marketing and communication, accompanied the delegation on a guided tour of the textile waste processing plant of Social and circular economy textile re-fashion.
After these initial meetings, the companies and institutions visited and the entities representing Colombia and Peru have been scheduled to arrange bilateral meetings in which the interests of collaboration will be specified.
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 centres 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, internationalisation, 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 programme 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 favor 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 entrepreneurial support programs, such as accelerators, incubators and events, as well as its commitment to training and employability of young people.
- Manuela Granada Montoya
Communication Project Officer Finnova
- Patricia Cavanillas