FUSION (Fashion Up-Skilling: Innovation Open Network), funded by Creative Europe

Fondazione Santagata is partner of a research project funded by Creative Europe, which aims to enhance the skills of emerging European artisans in digital fabrication and its integration into design and production of fashion fabrics, for the economic growth of SMEs.




The “EU 2020 strategy” recognizes the high economic potential of the cultural and creative sectors in Europe, in particular as one of the sectors that should contribute to generating employment, productivity and social cohesion. This project aims to support the development of designer and artisan skills in the view that this leads to social change, which with the creation of new products and experiences is able to cope with the aging of European populations.

Learning from EYCH 2018, the project aims to raise awareness of common values within European craft/making and design whilst up-skilling designers and makers to advance innovation.

FUSION provides solutions to individual needs thanks to competent designers and craftsmen able to create customized products through new digital manufacturing technologies, through fashion and fabrics, promoting the economic growth of SMEs focused on design in all regions of Europe.



The projects is lead by the Limerick Institute of Technology – School of Art & Design (LSAD), with the contribution of Polytechnic Institute do Cavado Do Ave (Portugal), the Crafts Council (United Kingdom), the national agency for the development of contemporary handicraft in the United Kingdom, and in partnership with Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture.




The project directly responds to the objectives of the European Commission, which works to strengthen the competitive nature of the fashion industries, as highlighted in the Action Plan for Fashion & High-End Industries.

FUSION aims to support the fashion and textile sectors, with a leading role in bringing together new technology to create smart textile solutions, to create growth in the sector and new jobs, and also to support the fashion industry and the creation of new products and solutions able to improve the life of the European communities negatively characterized by the problem of the aging of population.

According to EU data, over 5 million people and 850,000 companies are directly employed in the fashion value chain, providing an annual turnover in the EU economy of 525 billion euros.

The EU has identified as essential the need to further support the creative and innovative efforts of companies at European level through small-scale projects focused on the dissemination of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and other innovative solutions.


Expected results


The project plans to achieve the following results:

  • increasing access to new technologies in digital manufacturing;
  • supporting fashion and textile institutes in Europe to further develop their role as innovation poles;
  • promoting new partnerships between emerging designers in European countries;
  • transferring creative skills to entrepreneurial initiatives.