What can we learn from DeFINE?

  • By Emily Webster
  • 21 October 2021
  • 0 Comment

DeFINE was a three  year  (2018-2021) collaborative  project  co-funded  by  the  European Commission’s COSME  programme  which  aimed  to  support  the  fusion  of  radical  technologies  and  innovation with the European fashion and design industries.

Over the last three years, the project built a network of fashion-tech start-ups, SMEs, incubators, accelerators, financiers and investors through dedicated events, online  platform and social  media  channels, it provided mentoring  programme sessions to innovative  fashion-tech  start-ups  and  SMEs, and  promoted knowledge  sharing  and  networking activities for the benefit of the whole fashion-tech European Community.

One of the final resources produced on DeFINE was the project evaluation report, which included a special document with best practice recommendations for industry. This document draws on data from DeFINE events, interviews and surveys to present a fascinating picture of what fashion-technology networks can learn going forwards. It includes challenges faced by fashion-technology entrepreneurs, successes from the mentoring programme itself and lessons learned from the project overall.

The mentoring programme featured 27 businesses overall, each with a lead supervisor from a DeFINE partner institution. Each of these mentees received an average of 65 hours of business support mentoring. The lead supervisor coordinated the details of the mentee’s engagement with the programme, suggesting mentors and areas the business could use ad-hoc technical support.

In addition to one-to-one mentoring, the DeFINE Project iteratively promoted a knowledge-sharing activity, providing the European fashion-tech community insights from industry experts and professionals (webinars, events recordings and the final DeFINE project video are available on the DeFINE Youtube channel).

There are a number of extractable lessons that can be gleaned from data gathered on the DeFINE programme. Our hope is that part of the DeFINE legacy can be to influence fashion-technology networks in the future, ensuring that collaborations going forward can build off the foundations of the project.

To discover best practices from DeFINE, you can download the guidelines and recommendations here:

DeFINE: Recommendations for Industry

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