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TCBL Report Summary

Project ID: 646133
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TCBL (TCBL – Textile and Clothing Business LabsTransformative Business Models for the Textile Clothing Sector)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

TCBL is transforming the Textiles and Clothing industry, bringing 5% of production capacity back to Europe and reducing the sector’s environmental footprint by 20% by 2025. As the industry shows the first feeble signs of recovery, significant opportunities are emerging based on new production and distribution technologies, innovative organisational models, and new creative energies. In parallel, customers are showing increasing attention to ethical and environmental sustainability in the clothes they wear. If these opportunities are adequately captured through business model innovation, these trends have the promise of radically re-structuring one of the globe’s most consumption-oriented and environmentally unfriendly industries.
This process is driven by TCBL Business Labs that freely experiment the implications of potential innovations and their concrete impacts on business operations. Three types of laboratory focus on specific areas of the value chain:
• Design Labs explore tools and methods for designing textiles and clothes, interacting with professionals, fashion students, or anyone, even working from home.
• Making Labs experiment with production methods and machinery old and new, from re-discovering traditional tailoring to 3D printing and laser cutting.
• Place Labs investigate the local and social dimensions of clothes making, with new modes of work: on-demand or home DIY production, community lab spaces, and networks of artisan shops.
These laboratories interact with a substantial number of sector enterprises of various dimensions – Business Pilots – who identify transition scenarios that can accompany their shift towards more innovative and competitive business models. This process is supported by interactive knowledge and learning services together with an open repertoire of business services supporting specific moments of the new business models: training, logistics, etc.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

"The first 18 months of TCBL have operationalised each of the main ecosystem elements – Business Labs, Business Systems, Knowledge Spaces, and Business Services –for which frameworks have been defined and activities launched and under way. The project successfully carried out its first annual Calls for Expressions of Interest and the yearly #TCBL event.
Progress in individual Work Packages is summarized below.

The Knowledge Spaces are driven by the vDiscover semantic engine, which has built a flexible and configurable front-end to enable complex search queries with a very simple user interface. The Knowledge Spaces also include additional service modules such as gamification and augmented reality, which are being implemented based on the requirements of the Business Labs innovation scenarios.

This activity has recruited over 100 potential Knowledge Champions, from which 28 Associate Advisors have been selected for the population and animation of the Knowledge Spaces. A first repertoire of ‘knowledge nuggets’ has been published in the Knowledge Spaces and repackaged into a glossy outlet, the TCBL_zine, for which a dedicated Wordpress environment is under construction.

A general framework has been defined for the TCBL Business Labs and the starting set of 18 Business Labs – 6 each of the Design, Make and Place Lab typologies – has been identified in the first Call for Expression of Interest and have all launched their activities. A specific platform – –acts as the meeting and exchange space for innovation as well as the mentoring space for bringing in new Business Labs as the network grows.

WP 4 engages T&C businesses in TCBL business systems, starting with the 78 Associate Enterprises identified and labelled in the first Call for Expression of Interest. A ‘Plot’ workflow has been implemented to guide enterprises through the business transformations to innovative scenarios for: cotton, wool-knitting, natural fibres, eco-friendly production, short runs, made to measure, technical textiles, and social entrepreneurs.

The Business Services supporting business model innovation are built around the business processes specific to each value chain, and supported different services running on the TCBL open platform. The main service is bpSquare, which provides learning materials as well as basic business process models. This is supplemented by services for business modelling, enterprise matchmaking, supply chain management, and skills formation.

This WP deals with the range of issues for development and sustainability of TCBL as a structured ecosystem. The ecosystem architecture has defined the TCBL open platform, which has been implemented with the TCBL cloud services. In parallel, a wide-reaching evaluation framework is assessing impacts at different levels, feeding into value modelling and scaling scenarios for the labs, services and activities of the TCBL ecosystem.

WP7 explores the market space and potential for business development generated by TCBL. The first step was to map current and emergent market and policy trends against the long-term TCBL objectives, to identify the space for manoeuvre. Work has also begun to identify Startups developing new services to support TCBL actors, as well as Associate Service Providers who integrate their on-line services into the TCBL open platform.

Communication is central to the ‘large scale change’ approach of TCBL, with a multiple-platform web and social media strategy, a strong use of videos, and an extensive series of local events as well as scientific, sector, and institutional dissemination. A key element in the strategy is"

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The interactive and creative processes in TCBL aim to gradually build an integrated business ecosystem covering the entire T&C value chain while branching off to related sectors. The initial configuration of 18 Business Labs and 78 Pilot Businesses is scheduled to develop to include 90 Labs, 240 Pilots, 35 service enterprises, and 15 start-ups. Ecosystem growth is sustained by yearly Calls for Expression of Interest in the TCBL Associates Programme, which selects and labels community participants coherently with the TCBL principles.
TCBL is thus expected to have a widespread impact on the T&C industry in Europe, shifting consumer goals, expectations, and even engagement in the processes of designing and making clothes. This in turn will have both social and environmental impacts, as well as significantly improving the prosperity of Europe’s diffused systems of production.

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