The 2nd call of ELIIT Project opens 25 January 2021

Textile, Clothing, Leather and Footwear (TCLF) industries are part of complex and interlinked value chains of fashion, high-end industries and relevant innovative technologies. These sectors are among the most promising and most creative in Europe. According to Eurostat, the TCLF industries represent about 6% of the EU manufacturing employment and generate a turnover of about €210 billion. Textiles, clothing, leather and footwear provide an important contribution to the EU economy with 5 million people employed in the fashion value chain and over 1 million in high-end industries.


TCLF industries comprise a large proportion of SMEs, primarily due to the relatively low start-up costs associated with entering the industry. The trend towards customisation of TCLF, as opposed to standardised mass production, and the increased use of new technologies and materials could provide new opportunities for SMEs in the industries to become more profitable, productive, inclusive and sustainable. SMEs may be able to adopt smaller-scale robotics like 3D printers and digital technologies at a relatively low cost compared to traditional industrial automation technology with high barriers to entry. The promotion and up-take of novel and innovative technologies by SMEs constitutes a key element to guarantee their competitiveness. That’s the reason why ELIIT aims at helping the implementation of such technologies, fruit of the excellent research results achieved in many technological areas into the European SMEs active in the TCLF industries.

Therefore, the ELIIT project will provide direct financial support for 25 partnerships between SMEs and technology providers/owners to
- Enhance competitiveness
- Integrate technologies in SMEs
- Foster new, innovative or high-added value products, processes or services developed in collaboration.

In total, two Calls will be open over the course of the project. For each of the Calls, 12 - 13 partnerships will be selected.

ELIIT will support the partnerships through the following:

- A tailor-made coaching programme on either technical or soft skills to elevate the relevance of projects and increase their capabilities.
- Facilitating market-positioning and professional links between members of partnerships and other key players by organising networking activities and attendance at relevant workshops/conferences and exhibitions.
- Intellectual property rights organisation and guidance.
- Financial support to develop products or prototypes with high-added value and profitability.

Objectives of the ELIIT Call

The objective of the Call is to support the implementation of technology transfer partnership projects between SMEs active in the TCLF industries and technology providers/owners. In particular, ELIIT will support partnership projects that propose the implementation, application and use of disruptive and innovative technological solutions that can enable new and advanced technical capabilities for the performance of the beneficiary SMEs. ELIIT will support European cooperation for the use of technology-ready solutions (TRL 7 or higher) to improve productivity, value chain integration, resource efficiency and to create new high added-value products and services.

Technology providers/owners include a variety of organizations such as Technology and Innovation Centres, Universities, Research Centres and Corporates, SMEs and start-ups.

Eligibility criteria

Common eligibility criteria - The organisation must be legally and operationally established in the EU or a COSME associated country

EU countries - Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden

COSME associated countries - Iceland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia 
(*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.)

The United Kingdom** 
(**ELIIT project was launched under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of the European Union, 2014 – 2020. The UK contributed financially to it. Thus, the UK is part of COSME programme for this MFF period. Therefore, UK SMEs are eligible to apply to ELIIT project.)

Moreover, the applying organisation must not be in the process of receivership or bankruptcy.

Specific criteria for TCLF SMEs - To qualify as an SME, an organisation must 

- conform to our definition of an SME

- be active in the textile, clothing, leather and/or footwear sectors 

- be willing to integrate innovative technology-based solutions into its products, services or processes

Specific criteria for providers and owners of technology (e.g. research centres, universities, innovation centres, competence centres) 

To apply, the organisation must own the relevant technologies or have the right to use them freely.

Application process and selection criteria

The following steps group the processes of registration, application, and selection of projects on the EMS platform

Step 1: Registration and validation based on eligibility criteria 

All potential partners must register and fulfil the eligibility criteria individually.   

Step 2: Submission of partnership project proposal 

After registration and validation of the partners´ profiles, the project proposal must be submitted in partnership via the EMS platform

- if you do not have a partner, you can find one on the EMS platform

- if you already have a partner outside the ELIIT project, both must register on the EMS platform

- if you can’t find a partner on the EMS platform please contact and we will assist you

Read the ‘guide for applicants’ and the application form for more information.

Step 3: Assessment and selection of projects

The assessment process is divided into 2 stages

Pre-selection: eligible project proposals will be evaluated according to the award criteria described in the guide for applicants. The process will result in a shortlist of finalist projects

Final evaluation: shortlisted projects will be evaluated by the ELIIT steering board, which will decide on the final list of projects to be supported

Find here more information on the 2nd ELIIT call for proposals

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Tags:ELIIT project, SMEs, Textile, Clothing, Leather, Footwear, TCLF

About the Author

Silvia Kabaivanova

As the founder of Be Global Fashion Network and several other fashion websites, Silvia has been working for more than 20 years covering fashion industry trends and news. With a passion for the fashion business, she focuses on sustainable fashion and innovations, custom fashion and print on demand services. Silvia is a Chairman of Bulgarian Fashion Association. You can reach her at

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