Innovation Competition 2016

Advancing Textile Sector & End Market Opportunities

Closing date Thursday 14 April 2016


Textiles Future Forum (TFF) is running its second Innovation Challenge Competition to increase opportunities for business and academia to participate and bid for funding from the TFF Challenge Fund.

Successful projects will be awarded up to £50,000 grant to stimulate innovation, for example:

  • Adoption of new technologies and/or processes
  • Entry into new markets
  • Introducing new efficiencies.

The investment is aligned to the textile industry and wider supply chain where textiles are key to the supply chain (medical, transport, construction etc.), or sectors where innovation can positively impact on the sector (chemicals, agriculture, forestry etc.).

The competition is focused on encouraging industry led step change and transformational innovation activity. Grants may support feasibility, proof of concept/fore-sighting, technical feasibility and collaborative research and development projects. The grant is awarded on a 50:50 match funded basis where the 50% industry partner contribution can be cash and or in-kind.

Key areas of interest highlighted by leading industry experts are:

  • Supply chain, e.g. availability of raw materials, processing capacity, sustainable supply
  • Efficiency – manufacturing, managing costs/rising prices in a recession
  • Energy and sustainability – reduction of waste, utilities management, packaging & specifically Circular Economy challenges
  • Technology – identifying and exploiting new technologies, including e-commerce, logistics and customer fulfilment


Further analysis has identified specific themes where additional international funding streams may support follow on projects;

  • Sustainable raw materials
  • Resource efficiency in textile materials
  • From wet to dry – turning major wet textile processes to dry energy efficient processes
  • Advanced manufacturing technologies for 3D textile materials and components
  • Cross Over and Supply Chain opportunities where textiles play a significant role such as;
    • Innovative textiles for construction and architecture
    • Innovative technical textiles for marine and coastal applications
    • Innovative textiles for transport applications
    • Healthcare & Medical applications
    • Digital fashion – consumer-driven integrated digital textile & clothing production near point of sale/use
    • Advanced performance fibres, fabrics and garments such as embedded sensors, advanced coatings etc.


Textiles Future Forum is seeking proposals that address industry requirements in these areas. Proposals may be led by Scottish universities or Scottish businesses or trade bodies but must involve both industry and academic partners.*

The funding will offset the costs of academic time, research consumables etc.

Applications will be judged against the criteria of INNOVATION, IMPACT and COLLABORATION:

  • Level of innovation, e.g. adoption of novel technology; use of existing technology in novel way or application in new sector; introduction of new processes; entry into new markets
  • Anticipated impact on business/industry/economy/region
    • A route to commercialisation should be spelled out in this section; without it, it will be difficult to establish how impact is likely to be achieved.
    • Opportunity for wider collaboration
      • Entries from single company/single university collaborations will be accepted, but entries that involve multiple partners will score better. Partners may be similar producers, from the supply chain or commercialisation route, and other HEIs.

Applications will be judged against two further criteria:

  • The degree of relevance to the key industry issues outlined above
    • Industry commitment
      • It should be clear from the entry that the proposed project is central to the industry partners’ strategy and is being driven by the industry partner(s).
      • A cash contribution is not a strict requirement, but commitment will be assessed on the amount of cash against the size of the company and the importance of the project to the company. If there is no cash, the entry will need to score highly in the other categories of potential impact and level of innovation

The competition is open now and applications must be received by 5pm on Thursday 14 April 2016.

To apply or for further information, contact Gillian Wishart 0131 451 3224

* TFF may be able to assist in finding industry partners for university applications and academic partners for industry applications.

Application Form


Application Guidelines


Innovation Competition 2016