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Apply for the Fashion, Textiles & Technology R&D programme


Are you running a successful business in the fashion, textiles and/or related technology sector and have an idea that you think could take your company and the industry sector to the next level? If so, the Fashion, Textiles & Technology, SME Research and Development Programme (FFTR&D) wants to hear from you.

The FTT R&D SME Support Programme is an ambitious research and development investment with a total value of approximately £2m to establish 15 FTT R&D SME Support Programme Partnerships. Each partnership will be considered for an approximate award value between £80,000 and £175,000 for projects lasting up to 30 months, depending on the specific need of the projects.

Companies should submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the first call of funding by 28th May 2019.

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

This Funding Call is looking to support SMEs* (no more than 250 employees and/or company turnover under €50m) in the development of the next generation of products, services and experiences in the fashion, textiles and technology sectors – with sustainability at their core.

SMEs with innovative concepts, or companies already working at the early stages of testing a prototype product or service in the market place are eligible to apply.

Your ideas may be at an early stage, and to be successful may benefit from support across a range of specialist fields, including: new materials design; novel technologies; new applications for existing technologies; innovative business and retail models.

The project is particularly interested to hear from companies keen to explore the development of new production & design processes, new products, services and experiences that may involve:
• Material Innovations
• Technology Innovations
• Retail innovations
• Sustainability-driven innovations

FTT is looking forward to hearing from companies who would like to achieve a step-change in their business trajectory.

Who Should Consider Applying & Why:


  • UK-based SMEs trading for a minimum of 2years as Fashion, Textiles business or relatedtechnology innovator.
  • SMEs that wish to advance their market positionvia the development or prototype of new products,services or experiences.


  • To enable a step-change for your FTT businessthrough the introduction of bespoke researchand development (R&D) that you could not haveundertaken on your own.

What’s included:

  • Strategic partnering with industry and academic mentors and workshops and coaching
  • A part-time, fully qualified project lead to co-ordinate the delivery of the project
  • Budget for materials, machinery expenses, as well as relevant subsistence and travel expenses
  • Showcasing opportunities to test the results (retail, tradeshows etc) as appropriate
  • Access to university labs, equipment and studio space if required

Expected outputs:

  • Fully tested prototypes of FTT products, services and experiences
  • A commercialisation plan

More on the partnership

The BFTT Partnership Director is Professor Graeme Evans, UAL, and Deputy-Director is Professor Jane Harris, UAL. They are supported by a UAL research team from London College of Fashion and Chelsea College of Arts, in collaboration with  University College London, Loughborough University, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, Queen Mary University London and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Key industry partners include ASOS; Holition; John Smedley; Clarkes; British Fashion Council; Kukri; Keracol – in addition to support from world leading luxury brands, over 40 Fashion Textile and Technology businesses, trade associations and Local Enterprise Partnerships, and online retail and emergent design companies of the future.

Register your interest by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) via the form below.

For more information, please visit the BFTT website or contact BFTTsme@arts.ac.uk


Fashion, Textiles, Technology – Expression Of Interest Form

Fashion, Textiles, Technology, SME Research & Development Programme