The European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX) has launched a new initiative to support start-up businesses and to inspire innovation for the textile, garment and fashion industries.

The owner of ITMA and ITMA branded exhibitions, CEMATEX is set to provide a series of grants allowing companies to exhibit at the Start-Up Valley during ITMA 2023. The CEMATEX Start-Up Grant will cover the rental costs of a special design stand and fittings, as well as entitlements such as business matching.

Ernesto Maurer, the president of CEMATEX, commented, ‘We are excited to launch this initiative to attract innovative start-ups to ITMA 2023. The Start-Up Valley will be a good complement to the ITMA Research & Innovation Lab.

‘As the largest textile technology exhibition attracting leading textile and garment manufacturers from around the world, ITMA offers young entrepreneurs a useful platform to put their innovations in front of a global audience, to find investors and collaborators and to leverage industry connections and professional networks.’

In addition to exhibiting at ITMA 2023, which will take place in Milan, Start-Up Valley exhibitors can also take part in various onsite activities, including speaking at the Innovator Xchange and participating in the ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award and Innovation Video Showcase.

To be eligible for the grant, start-ups must have a product or service that is within ITMA 2023’s exhibit profile and have been incorporated for no more than eight years. Key selection criteria for the grants include the environmental, economic and/or disruptive impact of the innovation, as well as its scalability and its relevance to ITMA’s theme, ‘Transforming the World of Textiles.’

Interested start-ups need to apply before 30 June 2022. After the entries are evaluated by a committee of industry experts, successful applicants will be advised by 28 October 2022.