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Accelerating Smart Textile Entrepreneurship by Innovative Cross-regional, Cross-disciplinary and Cross-cultural Value Chains


In recent years, smart textiles have moved from research and prototyping to manufacturing processes in several promising end markets, offering exciting opportunities to meet new market challenges. According to several studies, the market for “smart and wearable textiles” is destined to enter a phase of exponential development since “smart textiles” offer possibilities to create new products in many sectors and, even more, to boost the textile industry with new business models. The time has come to connect the production chains of materials, components, and integrated systems, in order to develop interdisciplinary opportunities capable of offering new strategic market opportunities.


SmartX Accelerator planned to realize 40 “pioneer” projects, that will experience one or more phases of the new interdisciplinary value chain, with a specific focus on the production phases. The funded projects were followed in all phases, from conception to implementation, by experts from the clusters trained on the SmartX Coaching Methodology. Coaching activities will continue after the end of the project, focusing on patent rights and market strategy. The SmartX system aims to become a “Business Angel” recognized at European level for SMEs and start-ups eager to innovate in the smart textile market. SMEs operating in Europe and some associated countries will be able to apply for funding through public tenders. In addition to funding innovative projects and their support services, SmartX also develop an online collaborative platform that can help in the construction of the value chain of smart textiles through some interactive tools that can be used directly by companies, and that became a community where members can meet, communicate, and give life to joint activities during the implementation of the SmartX project and even after.


Drive SMEs towards the innovate development of smart textiles product, processes and business models and define new integrated value chains for development, production and marketing of innovative smart textiles solutions, in 3 sectors of the final market through:

  • The development of new intersectoral value chains aimed at an emerging market
  • Improving the use of cluster potential and bringing together different skills and innovative solutions
  • The implementation of skills and competences, and the improvement of the innovation potential of SMEs to develop and produce goods and services that can compete at an international level
  • The development and replicability of a systemic approach to cross-sectoral innovation of SMEs after the end of the project


  1. 3 sectors involved:
    1. Protective clothing
    2. Industrial applications
    3. Health and well-being
  2. 40 “pioneer” projects:
    1. with TRL (Technology Readiness Level) from 6 to 8 (4 may be considered)
    2. projects of individual enterprises or in association of SMEs and start-ups
    3. to be implemented in Europe or some associated countries
    4. specifically designed to fill strategic gaps in the emerging intersectoral value chain of smart textiles
    5. project activities to be realized in 9-12 months
  3. 3 funding calls for the presentation of project ideas
  4. Maximum funding per project:
    1. Up to 60,000€ per company (SMEs), with the opportunity of receiving a voucher to obtain personalized multidisciplinary support services (coaching), both individual and collective.


8 clusters, 2 RTO’s and 3 Innovation support entities from 7 European Countries:

–        Plate-forme Technologique Européenne pour le Future du Textile et de l’Habillement – ETP (Belgium) – Coordinator

–        Centre Scientifique & Technique de l’Industrie Textile Belge – CENTEXBEL (Belgium)

–        DSP VALLEY VZW – DSP (Flanders, Belgium)

–        Centre d’Innovation des Technologies sans Contact – CITC-EURARFID (France)

–        Institut Français de la Mode (France)

–        Association UP-TEX – Euramaterials (France)

–        Deutsche Institute fur Textil-und Faserforschung Denkendorf – DITF (Germany)

–        STEINBEIS Innovation – SIG (Germany)

–        Sourcebook (Germany)

–        Po.in.Tex (Italy)

–        Centro Tecnologico das Industrias Textil e do Vestuario de Portugal – CITEVE (Portugal)

–        Confederación de la Industria Textil – TexFor (Spain)

–        Smart Textiles Cluster at Hoegskolan I Borås (Sweden)


The SMARTX project is supported by 23 organisations from across Europe (industry associations, clusters, government departments, innovation centres). For further information please visit the website SmartX or contact us: polo.tessile@cittastudi.org