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Information about LutzWalter

Published on January 22, 2008

Author: Susann


The Role of SME Associations in Encouraging Research & Innovation Experiences from the Textile & Clothing Industry :  The Role of SME Associations in Encouraging Research & Innovation Experiences from the Textile & Clothing Industry Conference “Research, Innovation and European SMEs” Dublin, 3 June 2004 Lutz Walter European Apparel & Textile Organisation EU-25 Textile-Clothing Industry Key Figures (2002):  EU-25 Textile-Clothing Industry Key Figures (2002) Industry * >95% SME’s The World of Textiles:  The World of Textiles Disposal / Recycling Fibre Thread Fabric Finished Fabric Clothing (Fashion & Function) Home Textiles Distribution / Retail Textile Services Hotels Hospitals Public Services Private Consumption Commercial Use Applications in Automotive Construction Agriculture Medical Sector ... High Street Comp.Outlet Mail Order Type n Technical Textiles Industry Euratex Members:  Euratex Members Countries: EU-25 EFTA : CH-NW Medit. Rim : Turkey, Morocco Textile Branches: Cotton, Wool, Man-made fibres, Silk & silk-type, Linen, Finishing, Knitting & knitwear, Carpets, Embroidery, Ribbons, Braids, Sewing threads, Twines, Ropes, Nets, Furnishing textiles ... Euratex Major Current Concerns:  Major Current Concerns International Trade Research & Development, Innovation Environment Intellectual Property Social Dialogue Euratex EURATEX-R&D Mission:  EURATEX-R&D Mission To cooperate with all stakeholders in textile-related research in order to assure a maximum activity in joint European projects to the full benefit of the European textile & clothing industry. Euratex R&D Slide7:  European Textile Research Community Research Working Group EURATEX R&D and Projects Department European Textile & Clothing Industry Working Group Research Relationships European Research Policy Tasks of the Research Working Group:  Tasks of the Research Working Group Inform industry about EU Research Programmes Discuss European R&D policies and their relevance to the T/C sector, issue opinions and recommendations Liaise with EU research policy makers Develop long-term research priorities for the sector Coordinate European research activities Generate project ideas & facilitate partner search Present results of collaborative R&D projects Euratex R&D First hand Experience from EU Projects involving SME’s:  First hand Experience from EU Projects involving SME’s Direct involvement of Euratex in selected projects of strategic importance to the industry as a whole. Main role: coordination and dissemination of results Main fields: research in applied information & environmental technologies, technology transfer, benchmarking , technology standards Programmes: NMP, IST, SME schemes (Collective Research, ETI) Euratex R&D R&D/Innovation needs of SME’s :  R&D/Innovation needs of SME’s SME Needs First-class research & best of breed technology Flexibly accessible local assistance through trusted partners Joint developments with suppliers/customers Incentives for R&D/innovation and favourable framework conditions Flexible quick-responding support programmes The ideal SME Programme:  The ideal SME Programme Provides for full bottom-up initiatives without a thematic or political straightjacket Has open calls and pre-proposal checking facilities Has a programme budget that adapts to funding demands to ensure reasonable success rates Needs no more than 3 months from proposal submission to project start Allows maximum flexibility in the number and type of partners Has a light administration and simple transparent procedures Ensures quick reliable payments Allows for flexible revision of scientific/technical objectives during the course of the project Still provides for projects with a minimum duration serious research/innovation requires (min. 2 years) Industry Needs The advantages of industry associations:  The advantages of industry associations Knowledge of needs and problems of their member companies Unique position in terms of industry reach and networking power Not tight up in day-to-day commercial operations, able to look at the bigger picture in economic, political and regulatory terms and think more long-term Multi-linguistic and international management skills Depend on a neutral and objective stance vis-à-vis their various members Industry Needs Role of Associations Association’s limitations:  Association’s limitations Big collective organisations are often distant from the problems of their (small) individual members Can be paralysed by conflicting interests within their membership Often lack scientific/technological expertise, project & IPR management skills Influence on research programmes, priority setting and project selection is often limited Role of Associations Characteristics of a good SME-innovation supporting association:  Characteristics of a good SME-innovation supporting association A clearly defined sector, technology or market-oriented profile R&D/Innovation as strategic key objective of the association and corresponding staff profile Recognised R&D/Innovation reference for its members Trusted relationships to research community, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders Efficient direct two-way communication channels to members Strongly controlled and majority subscription-funded by industry members Role of Associations How can policy support associations in their innovation role?:  How can policy support associations in their innovation role? Provide an innovation-friendly regulatory framework Involve associations in programme definition, priority setting and management of support schemes – build programmes that correspond to industrial reality Reduce complexity/bureaucracy and ensure more stability of innovation support programmes Support relevant knowledge and skill development of association staff Support communication between associations and their members Role of Associations

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