285 candidates from 33 EU-COSME associated countries responded to the First Call for Proposals within the WORTH Partnership Project II and, finally, 65 businesses partnerships with new design-driven business ideas have been awarded.
Worth Partnership Project II is Europe's largest incubation programme dedicated to designers and creatives in the life-style industries. Through this programme, designers, SMEs, manufacturers, and technology providers work together and develop innovative and design-driven business ideas. They increase their innovation capacity and make choices to bring their businesses closer to climate neutrality and digital leadership.
The first call for proposals was dedicated to the New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative and incorporated the principles of sustainability, inclusiveness and aesthetic into the lifestyle industries. The NEB is an environmental, economic, and cultural project aiming to merge design, sustainability, accessibility, affordability, and investment to help deliver the European Green Deal. It was launched by the EU commission and co-designed with thousands of citizens and organisations across the European Union and beyond.
Despite the extremely difficult and challenging time for Ukrainian creatives and companies, two projects involving three Ukrainian participants were awarded. This is a signal that the EU, also through the WORTH Partnership Project II, is standing by Ukrainian creative professionals and SMEs.
The selection process went through a thorough and carefully designed course of action. The Worth II Steering Board was key to find out the most innovative business ideas. The Steering Board is composed by 14 renowned experts in fashion, industrial and product design, arts and architecture: Leslie Holden, Co-Founder at The Digital Fashion Group; Ubaldo Spina, Director of the Design Department at CETMA; Margaret Larmuth expert in innovative thinking and colours in the fashion field; Fulvia Bacchi, CEO of Lineapelle; Parvinder Marwaha, architecture design fashion programme manager at British Council; Kolbrun Gunnarsdóttir, designer, Stylist and Creative Director Kolbrun & Idem Jewelry; Paulo Gonçalves, editor-in-Chief of the Portuguese luxury fashion magazine Soul and Director of Communication at APICCAPS; Gwen Cunningham, Lead Circle Textiles Programme at Circle Economy; Assaad Awad, Spanish/Lebanese multidisciplinary artist, crafter, designer and leather brand owner; Helga Sigurbjarnadóttir, Award winning independent Architecture & Planning Icelandic Professional; Sebastian Thies, 6th generation footwear professional since 1856, Founder and Designer of high-end trainer brand nat-2™; Inga Markovska-Malinauske, co-founder and sales manager at EMKO; Koen Snoeckx, operating from within his own company Luscinus since 2017, strategist and renowned creative industries coach; Janos Keresnyei, creative director of media agency Kerko Media Kit and creative industries coach.
Worth Partnership Project II provides the awarded business partnerships with seed money to start the development of their innovative products, services or to revise their business models. 55 projects will be granted with 10,000 Euros, 6 projects will receive 20,000 Euros and 4 projects 15,000 Euros. The awarded business partnerships will also receive tailored coaching, training courses and will have at their disposal facilities for the development of prototypes or new materials. WORTH Partnership Project II will also facilitate market positioning through networking activities, participation in relevant design events and exhibitions and exposure to international media activities. Visibility will also be guaranteed on the WORTH gallery, a virtual networking space, and marketplace.
WORTH Partnership Project II is an initiative funded by the European Commission under the EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). Launched in 2021, WORTH II follows the success of its first edition (2017-2021). 202 transnational partnerships will be selected in three calls for proposals, with the next Call scheduled to be launched in autumn 2022.
- Publication date
- 14 June 2022
- European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency
- News Type
- Worth News