New Strategic Agenda for Europe’s Textile and Fashion Future



sira-coverSome 150 participants from 24 countries attended the conference “European Textiles – going digital, going high-tech” held on 12-13 October in Brussels. The key highlight of the event, organised by the European Textile Technology Platform was the unveiling of the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA). The document entitled “Towards a 4th Industrial Revolution of Textiles and Clothing” details the key innovation themes and research priorities for Europe’s textile and fashion industries for the coming decade. The SIRA outlines the major innovation themes and research priorities which are expected to drive and shape the future of the textile and clothing sector in Europe over the coming decade. It has been jointly developed by over 100 textile industry, technology and research experts from across Europe. Over the last decade the industry has achieved a successful transformation towards a developers, manufacturer and distributor of high value added products for a very broad range of geographical and sectoral end markets. Today it has a turnover of  € 169 billion, employs 1.7 million people and exports 26% of its products outside the EU. Research, innovation and the development of a highly qualified workforce are key success factors, as well as the transfer of new technologies and business models to the mostly small and medium-sized companies concentrated in regional clusters. The Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda will be a crucial tool to interact with policy makers at European, national and regional level to make sure support policies and programs meet the needs of the Textile and Clothing sector and further help improving its competitiveness and innovation performance.