Home High value-added solutions area CRE@CTIVE – Innovation for bringing creativity to activate Traditional Sectors in MED area

CRE@CTIVE – Innovation for bringing creativity to activate Traditional Sectors in MED area


Project Description

Textile, Footwear and Leather are Mediterranean traditional sectors, with an annual estimated global turnover of more than €280 billion and 2.7 million employees working mainly in MSMEs which account for 90% of the industry. During the last decades, these sectors have been affected by the economic slowdown and a very strong competition from Asia. These Mediterranean traditional sectors are under threat if they do not quickly renew their business models. Unable to compete in price or volume, the main challenges for them are product and process innovation, the establishment of new business models and the creation of business sustainable alliances to strengthen the value chains.

CRE@CTIVE will address these challenges. In particular, the project is aimed at boosting creativity as a key aspect for increasing economic opportunities of the MSMEs by creating links between the traditional sectors and the creative industries (crafts, design, culture, etc). As a result, creative innovation will upgrade the products and will improve their positioning, making them more competitive in the global markets.


To foster value chains and business alliances among MSMEs in Mediterranean textile, footwear and leather sectors in order to encourage the creation of new products and business growth, by building bridges between these sectors and the creative industry.

 What will be improved?

CRE@CTIVE will strengthen transnational innovation networks, clusters and value chains. It will create new jobs, drive efficient resource use and accelerate the process of generating, diffusing and applying innovative ideas, concepts and business models. Tangible solutions for target groups will be provided, in particular for young people and women, but also for the society at large. Concretely, thanks to CRE@CTIVE, 16 new business alliances will be supported directly to establish new market opportunities; and, at least 24 new direct long-term jobs will be created through direct participation in the project pilot start-ups, via sub-grants that will give the opportunity to set up new businesses based on innovative approaches.

Who will benefit?

  • MSMEs of the Mediterranean textile, footwear and leather sectors.
  • 100 Culturally and Creatively engaged Individuals (artists, designers, artisans, etc.).
  • Creative Hubs.
  • 50 Local Public Authorities.
  • 20 Local Communities which will be engaged in the innovation processes.
  • Final consumers who will benefit from product innovation.

Expected achievements

  • 48 enterprises participating in cross-border business events.
  • 6 business labs models that will favor new and innovative business ideas, models and services.
  • 16 new business solutions will be created.
  • 1 governance model developed to strengthen the traditional sectors and provide innovative business support to enterprise and start-up to better compete on the markets.
  • 6 cooperation exchange seminars for civil servants, public authorities and economic stakeholders.
  • 6 regional observatories constituted as an open, cooperative and dialogue initiative to improve and establish policies and programs for financing innovation.

Contribution to policy-making

The project will widely involve the public authorities and decision makers in the activities to ensure a deep impact on policies. Besides, the participation of several relevant public authorities in the Partnership will ensure that the results and actions of CRE@CTIVE are compatible with the latest and upcoming policy development. After the project life, public authorities will be able to consider the links created by the project between the traditional sectors and the creative industries as a must-have criterion for their regional or national financial support schemes. CRE@CTIVE is a unique chance to put creativity at the heart of policymaking in the three traditional sectors.


  • AITEX – Research Textile Institute (ES)
    ARCA Consortium (IT)
  • Municipality of Prato (IT)
  • Monastir El Fejja Competitivness Pole (TU)
  • Leaders Organization (PA)
  • Higher Council for Innovation and Excellence (PA)
  • Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations (EG)
  • Catalan Fashion Cluster (ES)
  • Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (ES)
  • The Higher Council for Science and Technology/ International Cooperation Department (JO)
  • Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce – Alexandria Chamber (EG)


June 2022

On June third, CRE@CTIVE’s Spanish partners, the Research and Innovation Institute (AITEX) and the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE), held the “Mediterranean Cooperation Days” at the Casa Mediterráneo in Alicante.

Personalities with decision-making power in neighbourhood policies from various geographical areas of the Mediterranean attended the event, where they discussed the region’s accomplishments and how the numerous collaboration efforts made over the years have been critical in supporting many industries and businesses across the Mediterranean.

Mr Ricardo Sánchez-Blanco, deputy director of Foreign Relations in the Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union, wanted to highlight that “EU cooperation with the countries of the southern Mediterranean has been in recent years, one of its strategic priorities, developing the New Agenda for the Mediterranean with the five priorities: human development, good governance and the rule of law; peace and security; migration and mobility; and ecological transition”.

“The CRE@CTIVE project is an example of Mediterranean cooperation,” said Joan Calabuig, regional secretary for the European Union and External Relations. “This type of instrument not only shares technical solutions but also builds bridges between the two shores of the Mediterranean and favours joint work and the promotion of economic and social development of those regions”.

“Let’s make tradition meet innovation. Let’s work together,” said Jordi Sebastià, IVACE’s General Director of External Relations, as he highlighted the significance of working together in recognizing the Mediterranean identity.

The achievements of cross-border cooperation, the upcoming challenges under the European Neighbourhood Instrument, and strategies for developing new business development actions were discussed, as well as common issues in the Mediterranean, such as increasing competitiveness, innovation, inclusion, and sustainability.

The event provided an excellent chance to meet our partners in person and to bring together individuals from all around the Mediterranean to discuss our future and strengthen our ties.

A total of 42 people attended onsite. You can also find the live broadcast on YouTube, where 100 people tuned in. CRE@CTIVE: Bringing Innovation to the Med region, what is the CRE@CTIVE project? – YouTube

May 2022

The 16 winning projects of CRE@CTIVE are already known, which will benefit from € 12,000 for the execution of their innovative business models and a technical advisory service for the selected L@B.  These have been selected taking into account the creative, sustainable and inclusive value for the textile, footwear and leather sectors.

Design-L@B (Ramallah, Palestine)

  1. “Modernization of the Palestinian craftmanship in RTW fashion” by Sara Jayyusi (Jordan) and Meera Albaba (Palestine). The local craftsmanship of embroidery and leather converge to create a sustainable collection.
  2. “Exchange Knowledge in Marketing leather products” by Saad Ghanem (Palestine) and Julián Sanudo (Spain). Development of new artisanal leather products based on the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and techniques.
  3. “Nadia” by Sireen Nijeem (Palestine). Hand-woven scarves and scarves mix tradition and sustainable technologies.

Eco-L@B (Alicante, Spain)

  1. “From Waste to Color” by Almudena Cerezo Araujo (Spain) and Sté Mongi (Tunisia). Would you buy clothes made with vegetable waste?
  2. “And then what?” by María Llinares Torregrosa (Spain) and Brada Jlassi (Tunisia). “Buy less, buy better.” Contribute to the fashion industry by reusing garments that cannot be recycled.
  3. “Trasmuta” by Andrea Coderch Valor (Spain) and Hernan Gonzalo Villa (Spain). Sustainable garments that can be transformed into “Tote bag”.

Net-L@B (Alexandria, Egypt)

  1. “Using agricultura waste to produce natural fabric alternatives” by Moushira Alamarawy (Egypt). Agricultural waste and Egyptian fibers converge to create biodegradable clothing.
  2. “Moda-ty virtual try on” by Mahmoud Soliman (Egypt). Choose and try on clothes without leaving home, with only your mobile phone.

Techno-L@B (Monastir, Tunisia)

  1. “Educational clothing and accessories” by Mhenni Farouk (Tunisia). Waste of vegetables, raw materials for the production of natural dyes.
  2. “Vest go” by Oumaima Dhaouadi (Tunisia). Multipurpose vest (heated, GPS remote control and portable charging) connected intelligently.
  3. “TCFL Digitalization and Colaboration Platform” by Mohamed Kharrat (Tunisia). Automatic 3D scanning software.

Heri-L@B (Prato, Italy)

  1. “LOTTOZERO: Heritage design studio” by Tessa Moroder (Italy). Heritage design at the service of the new collections.
  2. “A sustainable history repeating, the new Prato Carded Fabric” by Francesca Nardi (Italy). Renewed and updated heritage textile resources.
  3. “Waste to Wear-Hacking Traditiuon” by Fabio Molinas (Italy). Waste from cork production and recycled textile fibres converge to create more sustainable fashion thanks to local know-how.

Make-L@B (Sicily, Italy)

  • “Ama Re.” de Mattia Piazza (Italia). Sea-loving Sicilians create a sustainable “genderless” capsule collection.
  • “Wind scraps” deIlaria Maria Sposito (Italia). Goodbye to the iron! Accessories created from discarded lightweight nylon candles

January 2022

The co-creation spaces (L@Bs) have been defined through a study carried out on the manufacturing sectors, where their weaknesses and capabilities were detected, in order to serve the textile, clothing, footwear and leather sectors of the Mediterranean area. The L@Bs have been based on the business model defined in previous European projects, such as TCBL and INTERREG MED CREATIVEWEAR, and are as follows:

Design-L@b: supports designers in the leather and footwear sectors by combining traditional and modern practices to ensure inclusion.

Eco-L@b: focuses on the study of new eco processes through the application of innovative and sustainable technologies in the textile, leather and footwear sectors.

Net-L@b: links its members with tools for business sustainability and provides technical assistance to access these tools and services.

Tecno-L@b: focuses on smart, innovative and creative textiles that allow new companies to be competitive.

Heri-L@b: promotes innovation in the local textile sector by reusing and exploiting the heritage and knowledge acquired throughout the history of the textile sector in the Tuscany region.

Make-L@b: acts as a business incubator, supporting the birth and development of creative startups.


CRE@CTIVE, a tool for the recovery and restructuring of the economy of the traditional sectors in Spain, after coronavirus effects

The fashion sector represents an economic and social pillar of Spain. The companies in the sector are a fundamental economic driver, generating 2.8% of the national GDP, or what is equivalent to generating 6B€ euros in taxes: 3.7B€ in VAT, 2B€ in social security contributions, and 330M€ in corporation tax. The entire value chain contributes to generate this level of activity by creating 4.1% to the labor market: from the production of raw materials (yarns, textiles, leather) and clothing to the marketing of garments or footwear, through other agents linked as logistics or intermediaries, which depend to a large extent on the activity generated by the fashion sector. In addition, their relevance transcends our borders: they account for 9% of exports (although the balance of trade is negative since imports are greater than exports) and attract 13% of world shopping tourism.

These sectors not only contribute at an economic level but also serve as a tool to face various social challenges.

  • Firstly, it establishes and decentralizes the population in different Spanish provinces, favoring sustainability and allowing a generational change in many regions. 70% of employment in the textile, clothing and footwear industry is mainly concentrated in the municipalities of the Comunidad Valenciana, Cataluña, Galicia, Andalucía, and Castilla la Mancha.
  • In addition, the industry is a benchmark in the insertion of women into the world of work (55% of employees are women) and inequality in managerial positions (in leading companies in the sector 60 and 80% of women are in a position of manager or middle management).
  • Finally, it represents a job opportunity for groups at risk of social exclusion, unskilled workers, and graduates of vocational training cycles.

In the last year, these sectors have been affected by the current situation, where the COVID pandemic has hit many of the countries hard, unbalancing the systems established so far and causing the trends established up to that point to be suddenly broken. In general, the COVID harmed these sectors, which, added to the crisis of 2008, has caused these sectors to be far from the magnitudes before that recession. As a result, the profitability of the sector has been significantly undermined over the past 14 years. In general, production and sales have fallen in the last year, but, in the case of the textile manufacturing industries, in July of last year, they had an increase in their production and turnovers, recovering without reaching the values of the previous year. The effect of the crisis was immediate, with store or business closures (a decrease in the number of companies of 2.1% compared to 2019) and employees temporarily or structurally outside the labor market. The number of workers has declined by 6.6% since before the pandemic.

The Spanish Government has adopted measures to try to alleviate the adverse effects, but the study has shown that they are not enough, highlighting the need to create new business models, to cope with the imminent changes in demands and consumption habits. In addition, the promotion of companies’ innovation activities should be optimized since only 17% of textile companies bet on innovative activities, spending only 1% of their sales on R&D investments. In this area, the project CRE@CTIVE aims to serve as a tool for the boosting of these companies, serving as support for the creation of a new business model together with an outstanding value proposition.


Consultancy company needed for the ENI CBC MED CRE@CTIVE project to support the financial and administrative control and monitoring of the project for 7 project partners.

  1. Programe: ENI CBC MED
  3. Acronym: CRE@CTIVE
  4. Project Code: B_A.1.2_0022
  5. Duration: 20-11-2020 / 05-05-2023
  6. Deadline for presenting offers: 11 junio 2021.

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    The kick off meeting of the European project “CRE@CTIVE: Innovation to encourage creativity in the traditional sectors of the Mediterranean” was hold on 4th of March.

    Due to current conditions, it had to be carried out virtually, but this did not prevent a total of 54 participants, in addition to the people who were able to follow streaming video on the project’s Facebook channel. Aitex was the host of the event, as the beneficiary leader of the project. Most of the participants belonged to public institutions, with representatives from different relevant institutions of the Valencian Region because the CRE@CTIVE project is the only project within the call for strategic projects of the Mediterranean Neighborhood and Cross-Border Cooperation Instrument program (ENI CBC Med) which is led by an entity of the Valencian Community in the priority of SMEs and business development. Institutional, commercial, and business entities from the other countries involved in this project were invited: Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Palestine and Tunisia.

    The first speaker at this meeting was the Director of External Relations of the Valencian Institute of Business Competence, Mr. Jordi Sebastià i Talavera. He was succeeded by Mrs. Mª del Carmen Hernández Martín, who holds the position of General Director of Management of the European Regional Development Fund on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, and Mrs. Daría Terrádez Salom, general director of relations with the European Union and the State representing the Presidency of the Generalitat Valenciana.

    After the presentation of the AITEX, the ENI CBC Med program was presented. For this, the Coordinator of the Western Branch Office of the program, Mr. Vincet Ernoux, and the Joint Technical Secretariat through Ms. Valeria Cibrario. Subsequently, the description of the project was made and its current status was detailed. For this, the different collaborators who are part of the project participated.

    Textile, footwear and leather: EU-funded CRE@CTIVE project to boost Mediterranean traditional sectors

    On the 21st of December the CRE@CTIVE Project (“Innovation for bringing creativity to activate traditional sectors in Mediterranean area”) was kicked off by the lead partner The Textile Research Institute (AITEX) from Spain, and project partners from Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt.

    ENI CBC MED CRE@CTIVE project is an EU funded project with a total budget of 3.2 million Euros. It aims at activating traditional Mediterranean industry sectors by boosting CREATIVITY as a key for increasing economic opportunities for MSMEs. Design talents from international organizations, creative hubs, fashion schools, design centres will be linked with MSMEs fostering a creativity and innovation process with impacts on value chains and business alliances across the Mediterranean.

    Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the internal kick-off had to be held online. At the start all partners introduced their institutions, the project team and the role they will play within the project. The lead partner introduced in detail the project with its different work packages and outputs and gave an introduction to the management procedures and financial management guidelines for all partners. CEEBA, the Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations introduced the communication plan outline.

    The official institutional meeting and press conference of CRE@CTIVE will be held in March.

    More information

    Webite:  CRE@CTIVE | ENI CBC Med

    Budget: 3.2 M€ (funded by the EU under the ENI CBC Med Programme at 90% – 2.9M€)

    Grant number: B_A.1.2_0022 -CRE@CTIVE

    “This information has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme. The contents are the sole responsibility of AITEX and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union or the Programme management structures”


    Additional Information

    • Years: 2020-2023

    • Status: In progress

    • Entity: European Union
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