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TEXTILE AT THE CROSS ROADS OF NEW APPLICATIONS

Final Report Summary - CROSSTEXNET (TEXTILE AT THE CROSS ROADS OF NEW APPLICATIONS)

Executive Summary:
Crosstexnet is an Era-net project whose main objective was to operate crosss-regional calls for proposals in research in the field of innovative textiles, especially at the crossroads with societal challenges. Therefore, strategic surveys like guidelines for an Era-net, road map & joint action plan and also a database with all European textile actors were set up. The web site will continued to be the main tool to inform the general public about R&D projects retained under Crosstexnet calls (see: www.crosstexnet.eu).

During four calls over the period 2010-2013, 87 proposals were submitted of which 34 were funded, involving 134 partners. Projects funded were more application oriented and applied than FP7 projects and enabled the establishment of more European cooperation in research and innovation.
Crosstexnet published not only the information about the calls when they were open but leaflets were published and distributed with the main information about Crosstexnet and the result of these calls.

Their summary about scientific and commercial expectations were also distributed in the regional / national events, as well as in several international events.It is planed that more success stories of projects recommended for funding in the 2012 and 2013 calls will be published in the future in the Crosstexnet website. In fact, there is a specific section about projects retainted under calls.

In order to inform the companies in detail about the calls, detailed documents were created and uploaded on the Crosstexnet web site, as the guide for proposers, frequently asked questions document, etc. before each call paper leaflets were created.

The ERA-NET “Crosstexnet” started on 1st November 2009. This report contains an overview of the activities carried out during whole duration of the project (p.m. from 1st November 2009 to 30st April 2013), and a reflection about a further colloboration in the future.

Crosstexnet project has been coordinated by the Regional Council of Nord-pas de Calais.

The organizational structure of Crosstexnet during the whole project duration was following:
• The Consortium Steering Board was the ultimate decision-making body of the Consortium, with one voting delegate from each full partner.
• The Executive Committee was the management body for the execution of the Project, made up of the work package leaders.
• Each Work Package had also appointed a Work Package leader, responsible for the monitoring of the full WP.

Co-ordinator contact details
Région Nord-Pas de Calais
151 Avenue du Président Hoover,
59555 Lille cedex - France
T: +33 3 28 82 76 07
F: +33 3 28 82 76 05
e-mail: leila.mehnane@nordpasdecalais.fr

Project Context and Objectives:
The strategic objectives of Crosstexnet were the following ones:

(1) Execution of four Common Calls for Proposals for Research in Technical Textiles;
(2) Coordination with other European R&D support initiatives in Textiles like;
Technology Platforms, specially ETP Textiles and other ERA-NETs like Leadera, Manunet etc;
(3) Mutual enrichment of the regional/national R&D support programmes by fruitful
interchange of experiences;
(4) Enlargement of the Consortium, creating a notable platform to impact on European
textile research.

Crosstexnet was composed by 17 partners when it started. One more partner, the German Innovation agency (AIF) joined the Consortium as associated partner in Month 36 with view to participate to the last call for proposals.

Project Results:
I. Achievements:
- Crosstexnet has achieved an opening of regional research programmes after its completion as projects with partners from 9 (?) regions have been funded during the project.

- The funding effect has been to mobilize 16 Mln of public funding for research with a leverage of 25 Mln including own contribution of companies and research organisations. This is small but relevant increase of total public R&D funding in textiles estimated at 150 Mln Euro (excluding financing of education).

- This annual budget of 6 Mln is also substantial compared to the around 15 Mln a year of projects funded directly by the European Union (FP7) or 5 Mln a year funded through Interreg IV-A.

- In total 43 projects have been selected for funding, and 34 have been funded. This compares to 52 FP7 projects in textiles funded in that period. The number of partners in these projects is 134 of which 100 SME’s. This is also a significant number compared to FP7 projects.

- The projects funded are fully in line with the Strategic Research Agenda of the ETP as implemented inside Crosstexnet in a Joint Action Plan. The projects are firmly in the pillar “textiles as a material of choice’with textiles being used at the crossroads of technical applications. The profile of the projects is complementary to FP7 projects, with a clearer technical focus and a stronger onus on industrial application. Hence it has contributed to overcoming the Valley of Death for some relevant technologies (e.g. hydrogels, digital printing...).


II. Review assessment

1. A joint strategy and programming process in place
A joint action plan has been put in place (WP2). One of the result of the joint action plan has been to deliver a document serving as a thematic guideline for proposals and evaluation (deliverable 2.5). The Document was also a reference document for (clusters of) companies and research centres in the partner regions in defining their regional funding and programming priorities. The programming of calls inside Crosstexnet has not been limited by the technology road map resulting from the joint action plan (Deliverable 2.6) since this would narrow the scope of the calls.

2. A joint programme with financial commitment
The joint programme has been underpinned by financial commitments of an average of 9 regions of the consortium by call. Crosstexnet has facilitated 4 joint calls with the following participation in terms of regions:
i. The joint programme has been limited to the funding of transnational calls, with proposals submitted by companies and research centres.
ii. The programming has been enabled by thorough analysis of the do’s and don’ts of an ERANET and by a review of funding instruments and practices set up in other ERANET’s.

3. Upgrading regional and national research funding policies - opening up of programmes
Several regions have gained knowledge about programming and funding without being able, for political reasons or for financial limitations, to participate in joint calls. Seminars on best practices such as resulting from deliverables 1.5 and 1.6 have contributed to this.

4. Joint calls and funding of RTD-projects
Four calls of proposals have been launched, the fourth during a project extension. The projects funded do all fall in one of the pillars of the SRA of the ETP. SME involvement was a condition of funding in almost all regions participating in the call. Hence the typical architecture of projects has been of SME’S from each participating region, complemented with a regionally based research centre.

5. Raising awareness of the importance of R&D and innovation in the textile industry
The awareness of the importance of textile research and innovation has been raised in almost all participating regions (exc. Slovenia and East-Netherlands). For the latter region, awareness was already existing with a program for textiles inside high-tech materials and several national projects. Slovenia was unable to be active in Crosstexnet because of budgetary restrictions.


Potential Impact:
The impact of Crosstexnet comes in four different components. Two are connected to the participation into calls, either or not leading to funding and following up of projects. Two are connected to the joint strategic action plan and to the implementation of policies in the regional context or an increase set of competences. Partner may have grasped from 0 to 5 impact type of impacts in two categories:
1. Participation in calls. Regions having participated in calls report the implementation of a new system of transnational calls or an improved system of transnational calls. This even applies to regions with experience in earlier regional ERANETS. This also applies to regions having participated in calls but not having funded projects. Funding of projects. Regions having funded transregional projects have the most comprehensive experience. In the preparation of calls they have been active in dynamising their linkages to the industrial and research operators, have organised meeting to inform about the tool and beyond evaluation went into contracting and confronting European flexibility with regulatory rigidities. These regions had also to assist coordinators/partners with the conduct of their projects and organized regional dissemination events.

2. Implementation of regional policies. This impact applied in any case for regions involved in calls since it led to an activation of networks and implementation of funding. Also many regions that were unable to participate into the call system of Crosstexnet, reported an impact on either competences or on European awareness., leading up to implementation of policies in the 2014-2020 program period. Participation in Crosstexnet may also have led to more intense relations between public authorities, industrial operators and research centres.
Of all the partners only one did not report any impact, and since the country concerned – Slovenia- was not involved in any activity the impact was possibly very limited. It became also clear that Slovenia had no means to finance calls.
For all the other regions we could distinguish a focus on impacts associated to calls or to the strategic activities. Few regions reported impact on two aspects. The five regions leading work packages: Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Piemonte, Vastragotaland, Valencia and Toscana reported a broad set of impacts on all counts. A number or regions did only report impacts on the call system. This was mainly due to the fact that technical specialists from the funding agencies were involved in Crosstexnet. This was the case for Turkey, France, Flanders and Nordrhein-Westphalen. Other regions did mainly involved civil servants responsible for innovation or clustering policies. For them the impact of involvement was mainly on policy making. This is the case e.g. for Sachsen, Lombardia, Veneto, Hradec Kralove.

List of Websites:
The public website adress : www.crosstexnet.eu

Please contact Leila Mehnane:
Co-ordinator contact details
Région Nord-Pas de Calais
151 Avenue du Président Hoover,
59555 Lille cedex - France
T: +33 3 28 82 76 07
F: +33 3 28 82 76 05
e-mail: leila.mehnane@nordpasdecalais.fr