Textile production in a mill

Second Innovation Funding Call Launched

Future Fashion Factory’s second research and development (R&D) funding call is now open, supporting innovation in the UK fashion and textile industry.

Companies of all sizes are welcome to apply for collaborative R&D funding to tackle unmet needs at any stage in the supply chain. This could mean designing new products or services, developing new business models, or circular economy initiatives – projects that will ultimately drive growth in the UK economy.

The call opened to expressions of interest on 2 September and will close on 25 October. The Programme team will then work closely with each business to develop a full application for submission to the Programme’s Investment Committee.

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 academic centres – the University of Leeds, University of Huddersfield, or Royal College of Art – will also support each project according to the company’s needs.

R&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.

The successful businesses included Roaches International / Advanced Dyeing Solutions, Laxtons, Abraham Moon & Sons, WT Johnson & Sons, Deluxe Beds, Joshua Ellis, Whiteford Felt & Fillings, Gieves & Hawkes, and a collaborative bid between AW Hainsworth and Yorkshire Textiles.

A total of £1,615,897 was originally set aside to fund responsive R&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 & textile related businesses and deliver greater economic impact for the Leeds City Region and York, North Yorkshire & East Riding LEP areas.

“We’re looking for proposals with clear objectives that can make a real commercial impact,” says Professor Stephen Russell, Director of Future Fashion Factory.

“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. I would encourage any business to contact us in confidence to join our network, connect with our partners, and discuss potential projects.”

To discuss your idea with the team in confidence, or find out more about Future Fashion Factory, email contact@futurefashionfactory.org.