Challenge 2: SME R&D Support Programme

The fashion, textiles and technology related sector is buoyant, innovative and multidisciplinary, informing many adjacent sectors in the wider industry – quite literally from agriculture to advertising.

Our programme supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as they innovate, research and develop the next generation of products, services and experiences in the fashion, textiles and technology sectors, with sustainability as the driving force.

It provides a tailored package of funding combined with academic expertise and strategic business support, benefitting from the multidisciplinary range of expertise from across the BFTT Partnership.

10 R&D projects have been selected to receive over £1.2 million of funding plus a comprehensive package of support.

The awarded projects cover a range of sub-sectors and R&D areas, including: bio-material development; woven and non-woven textiles innovation; sustainable surface finishing processes; on-shoring of sustainable manufacturing; and novel digital solutions to crowdsource creativity, increase transparency and accountability in the sector. Details over the individual projects can be found below.

We have now closed the call for expressions of interests for the second round of funding.

(Last updated: 23/11/2020)

Team

Black and white image of Jane Harris

Prof Jane Harris

Principal Investigator

UAL

Jane draws upon over 25 years experience in transdisciplinary research, with a background in textile design and extensive experience of computer graphic imaging.  Jane’s role includes working with internal and external stakeholders including industry partners, up to Government Ministerial level.

Jane devised novel approaches to the digital representation of dress and textiles. With a track record of leading collaborative industry and academic research and development initiatives, involving cross disciplinary creative industry practitioners. Jane’s experience includes board-level representation in sector-leading organisations such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and advisory roles for the EU, EPSRC, AHRC, ACE and Arts Foundation. She is Director of Research and Innovation (Stratford) and Professor of Digital Design & Innovation at University of the Arts London. Core skills and competences include:

  • Strategic leadership and project direction
  • Design research in digital and material cultures
  • CGI for fashion and textiles
  • Knowledge Exchange

 

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Black and white portrait of Tracy Bhamra

Prof Tracy Bhamra

Co-Investigator

Loughborough University

Tracy is a University leader with a mission to integrate enterprise into all aspects of academic work, and with extensive experience of developing and implementing strategies with attention to fairness, accountability and empowerment.  Tracy’s role includes working with internal and external stakeholders up to Government Ministerial level. Alongside her leadership responsibilities, she is also Professor of Sustainable Design and therefore holds a strong interest for effecting change within an industry expressing increasing commitment to sustainable practice. Core skills and competencies include:

  • Leadership and project direction
  • Sustainable design consultancy
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership development
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Portrait of Nikki Matthews

Nikki Matthews

Creative R&D SME Programme Manager (from December 2020)

UAL

Nikki is an innovation professional with 12 years of experience of creating collaborative programmes, across higher education and industry. She has led R&D collaborations across a range of sectors including creative industries, sustainable energy technologies, shipping and maritime, health technology, public sector and charity sectors.

Previously she worked at the University of Southampton for 12 years and before that she was a senior manager in the charity sector. With a degree in Art and Philosophy, plus postgraduate qualifications in Management and Information Systems, Nikki has a strong combination of creative and analytical expertise.

Core skills and competencies include:

  • University-Industry partnerships and brokerage
  • Strategy development and implementation
  • Multi-sector and multi-disciplinary programme management
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Black and white portrait of Kathryn Burchell

Kathryn Burchell

Business Development

Loughborough University

Kathryn has extensive experience and expertise in knowledge exchange, working across all sectors and varying size of organisation.  Having a background in project and partnership management and qualified with a degree in business, she is highly proficient in fostering, securing funding and leading partnerships to enable effective knowledge transfer between industry, education and policy stakeholders. Core skills and competences include:

  • Programme management
  • Industry-academia knowledge exchange & innovation
  • Cross sector partnerships and funding
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black and white portrait of Sarah Wheatley

Sarah Wheatley

Partnership Development Associate

Loughborough University

Sarah supports staff across Loughborough University to launch and manage Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. She leads the full process from application to delivery, managing our growing portfolio of successful partnerships.  Her previous work involves leading collaborations of public, private and voluntary sector organisations to support people affected by homelessness, children and young people, members of the armed forces and veterans.

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Black and white portrait of Jack Connors

Jack Connors

Innovation Manager

UAL

Jack has developed and delivered innovation programmes across the sustainability, fashion and automotive, health and wellbeing sectors – working across business, government, higher education and third sector organisations to deliver innovative approaches to sustainable development throughout the UK and beyond. As Innovation Manager at UAL, Jack is now identifying new opportunities that enable a sustainable fashion and textiles industry fit for the future. Core skills and competencies include:

  • SME development
  • Cross sector partnerships
  • Programme development and management
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Black and white portrait of Arantxa Echarte

Dr Arantxa Echarte

Innovation Manager

UAL

Arantxa is an academic and professional with more than ten years experience in arts and management. She is a Chartered Manager since 2013 and a specialist in a wide range of artistic disciplines. Since her experience as a KTP Associate of the first Fine Art KTP in the UK – Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins (2010-13) – she specialised in investigating and developing art related notions of Research, Development and Innovation for sectors such as HEI and the charity sector. Before joining UAL as an Innovation Manager, Arantxa was Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer at the Royal College of Art. Core skills and competences include:

  • Strategic research and project management
  • Knowledge of Research, Development and Innovation within the Arts and the Creative sector
  • Cross-sector partnerships and network building
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Black and white portrait of Salah ud Din

Salah ud Din

Project Support Coordinator

UAL

Salah has over three years of experience working in Higher Education and reserch settings. Salah had previously worked at the LSE as an administrator in various roles focused on student services, research centre support, finance administration, organisation of events and dealing with Estates and IT. Salah has a degree in textile design and a graduate of Central Saint Martins (UAL), specialised in printed and woven textiles.

Core skills and competencies include:

  • Woven textiles, research to sample development
  • Finance administration
  • Research projects support
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