SMARTX Public kick-off event
The first public event marking the launch of the European Smart Textiles Accelerator took place on May 13-14, 2019 at the Techtextil-Texprocess fair in Frankfurt, Germany and was organized by two SmartX partners: Textile ETP and Sourcebook. The following programme partners were also present: Textile ETP/EURATEX, UP-Tex, Smart Textiles, CITEVE, DITF, IFM, and Centexbel.
The biennial Techtextil-Texprocess is one of the most important trade shows in the textile industry. As such, it provided an excellent opportunity to disseminate SmartX project information to audiences from fashion and clothing, relevant SMEs, start-ups, clusters, associations, technology centres, universities, and other entities within the smart textile and related sectors.
To take full advantage of the fair and ensure a broad reach, the SmartX event was designed as a multi-faceted activity including a thinkathon, info session, and the presence of project partners at event booths, who interacted with attendees and handed out project materials.
- The 12-hour thinkathon was an opportunity to present the main challenge of SmartX – i.e. the development of an effective European smart textiles manufacturing chain – to six renowned experts from the industry and related fields. It also addressed the long-term role of the SmartX community, led by the European Textile Technology Platform.
- The public info session that followed summarized the results of the thinkathon and featured a brief presentation highlighting the main goals of SmartX, its activities going forward, along with the upcoming SME funding and coaching programme.
The kick-off event has been instrumental in raising early project awareness within the European textile innovation community. In the weeks following the fair, we have received mail from SMEs and SME support organisations, eager to know more about the SmartX project activities and particularly the planned funding calls.
It also confirmed the crucial role of a collaborative platform approach in developing this promising future market. Finally, the valuable feedback from the thinkathon will help the SmartX consortium plan their work going forward in order to ensure the maximum impact of the project.