Segura Selected in First Cohort of Fashion SMEs Awarded £1.2 million to Support Sustainable Growth and Innovation

  • Written by Segura
  • Published on 22 May 2020
  • Blogs PR

Segura are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded part of an over £1.2 million fund by the Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT) Creative R&D Partnership.

This programme, led by University of the Arts London in partnership with some of the UK’s leading Universities is part of the AHRC Creative Industries Clusters Programme (CICP), funded by the UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The CICP aims to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the UK with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure. In today’s challenging climate, a comprehensive support package of this type that enables SMEs to drive forward sustainability-driven innovation is more crucial than ever.

From over 80 applications, Segura were one of 13 businesses shortlisted and provided with one-to-one mentoring, business workshops and training to help develop their initial concepts into fully fledged business plans. Segura then had to pitch their idea to a panel of industry and academic experts – with just ten making the final cut.

Awards totaling over £1.2m will be made to: Ananas Anam, Anna Glover, AWAYTOMARS, Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, Chip[S] Board, Doppelhaus, Elvis & Kresse, Segura, Tengri, TiborIn addition each recipient will receive a comprehensive package of research and development support, including mentoring from leading academics across the partnership, hands-on specialist creative and technical support as well as ongoing project management and strategic business support from across the BFTT team.

The awarded projects cover a range of subsectors and R&D areas, including: bio-material development to non-woven textiles; a global design crowdsourcing platform; sustainable surface finishing processes; on-shoring of state-of-the-art sustainable manufacturing; novel digital solutions to increase transparency and improve sustainability in the sector. Segura will be working with University of the Arts London (UAL), Chelse college of Arts and the Centre for circular design on an R&D project focussing on research to support the further development of technology solutions for sustainable and ethical sourcing, taking place over the next 12 months.

Professor Jane Harris, BFTT Programme Director said: “Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are critical to the economy and critical to the creative sector in particular, making up over 95% of creative businesses in the UK. The Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT) SME Research and Development Programme seeks to highlight the value and impact SMEs can have in our sector and on the economy, when provided with the right type of financial support and research expertise.” 

Laura Houghton, Project Lead at Segura said; "Since the start Segura has always focussed its efforts on making textile supply chains more ethical, sustainable and profitable through enhanced digital traceability. As the business developed, we saw an opportunity to connect that network via a marketplace platform. However, we didn’t just want to create another trading platform, we wanted to create a platform that would positively effect our core pillars of ethics, sustainability and profitability. To do that, we recognised that we needed additional expertise; one which could analyse the many regimes and frameworks that currently exist and help develop a robust rating system for each member. When the BFTT call came out, we saw the opportunity to find that expertise. Working with the London College of Arts gives us access to the talent, knowledge and funding to make that vision a reality. We are really excited!"

The BFTT SME R&D Programme is hosted by University of the Arts London (UAL), in partnership with: Loughborough University; University College London (UCL); Queen Mary University London (QMUL); University of Leeds and University of Cambridge. The programme consists of a bespoke support package designed to enable small and medium enterprises from across the fashion, textiles and technology sector, access to expertise and resources to develop the next generation of sustainability-driven products, services and experiences. Over 2020 / 21 BFTT will be launching further funding support to the value of £1.2 million.

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