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Start-Up Valley at ITMA 2023

Supporting grants available for start-ups with relevant innovations.

26th January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Zürich, Switzerland

Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial

Cematex, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, has launched a new initiative to support start-ups with new and innovative offerings, and to inspire innovation for the textiles, garments and fashion industry.

The owner of ITMA and ITMA branded exhibitions, Cematex will provide selected young enterprises with solutions for the textile and garment industry with a grant to exhibit at the Start-Up Valley during the next ITMA, which takes place in June 8-14 2023 in Milan, Italy. The grant will cover the rental costs of a special design stand and fittings, as well as entitlements such as business matching.

“We are excited to launch this initiative to attract innovative start-ups to ITMA 2023,” said Cematex president Ernesto Maurer. “The Start-Up Valley will be a good complement to the ITMA Research and Innovation Lab.

“As the largest textile technology exhibition attracting leading textile and garment manufacturers from around the world, ITMA offers young entrepreneurs a useful platform to put their innovations in front of a global audience, to find investors and collaborators and to leverage industry connections and professional networks.

In addition to exhibiting at ITMA 2023, Start-Up Valley exhibitors can also take part in various onsite activities, including speaking at the Innovator Xchange and participating in the ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award and Innovation Video Showcase.

Eligibility and selection

To be eligible for the grant, start-ups must have a product or service that is within ITMA 2023’s exhibit profile. The company should also have been incorporated for not more than eight years, and have either generated revenue for at least a year or raised capital from investors or grants from other incubator programmes.

A key selection criterion is the environmental, economic and/or disruptive impact of the innovation, solution or product. Other criteria include the scalability of the innovation and its relevance to ITMA’s theme: Transforming the World of Textiles, and the four trending topics of advanced materials, automation and digital future, sustainability and circularity, and innovative technologies.

Applicants are also advised to share information such as reference partners to institutions, associations or commercial partners and the innovative and intellectual content of their products, services, patents or applications, and if they have won any awards.

A panel of industry experts has been invited to form the selection committee to evaluate the start-ups, comprising Chris McHugh, dry fibre development manager at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in the UK, Elin Larsson, programme manager at the RISE Research Institutes in Sweden and Ruggero Frezza, president of M31 Italia Srl in Italy.

Interested start-ups may apply for the Cematex grant by 30 June 2022. Successful applicants will be advised by 28 October 2022.

The last ITMA exhibition, held in Barcelona in 2019 drew a record-breaking participation of 1,717 exhibitors from 45 countries and over 105,000 visitors from 136 countries.

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