"We need cultural and creative competences to succeed in the green transition. This type of expertise plays a crucial role in creating radically new solutions to complex societal challenges," says Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth, project manager for ekip.
The focus often falls on technology and economy, and that is not enough, according to Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth:
"To achieve radical shifts, such as the transition from fast fashion to slow fashion, a comprehensive approach and creative competences are required."
EU's textile consumption ranks fourth in terms of environmental and climate impact within the Union, making it a priority issue. There are already new laws and regulations in place at the EU level, such as the "right to repair" to facilitate product repair, the EU taxonomy that limits investments to sustainable alternatives, and the textile strategy that demands sustainability and traceability.
To address these and other challenges, as well as promote innovation within the EU, ekip will gather policy areas from stakeholders across Europe, prioritize them, and select five per year to be processed through ekip's policy engine.
An example where the policy engine can respond to current challenges is the expected new legislation within the EU, which will require almost all products launched in the European market to have a product passport. Ekip can use its policy engine to develop policy recommendations that support the development of labeled and traceable textiles.
In essence, it is about looking at innovation in new ways so that more actors can benefit from innovation support. As the current structures are set up, it is often difficult for cultural and creative industries to access existing support.
"We need new policies that enable financing and access to facilities and demonstration labs for different types of projects. The interaction between knowledge, business, research, and society is crucial to solving Europe's problems," says Charlotte Lorentz Hjorth.