A new online platform for project-based training in research and innovation in footwear manufacturing, developed under the Erasmus + project Knowledge4Foot (K4F), was officially presented in Bucharest two weeks ago. The platform intends to respond to the call from footwear companies and higher education providers across Europe to boost footwear students and professionals’ research and innovation skills, which companies require to remain competitive in an innovation-driven world.
On 11 July 2018, the European Footwear Confederation (C) and its partners in the Erasmus + project Knowledge4Footwear (K4F) shared and celebrated the results of the project at their Multiplier Event “Research and Innovation in Footwear Manufacturing” in Bucharest, Romania. Its main outcome is the creation of an online platform where students will be able to follow a newly created free course on research and innovation in footwear manufacturing and acquire practical experience and skills through project-development.
The idea for this platform and course resulted from analysing that the latest advances in research and innovation were not being successfully transferred to companies in the footwear sector due to professionals’ lack of adequate innovation knowledge and skills. The project partners considered that an online platform could bring together companies, higher education providers, and research centres in order to strengthen their collaboration to better transfer innovation to the footwear sector. With the input from the three categories of stakeholders, the partners identified the current shortcomings in footwear manufacturing training and education and could deliver a robust training programme which stimulates creative thinking and problem-solving and provides a set of soft skills as well, such as leadership and team-work.
The modules of the new research and innovation course were presented to the participants, which included experts and representatives from universities, research institutes and training centres from the footwear and leather industries across Europe. They were all encouraged to use and promote the online platform among students and footwear professionals to maximise the positive impact of the project’s results and achieve its ambition to upgrade the footwear sector’s innovation capacity in Europe.
Satisfied and proud of the project’s achievements and confident in its ability to bring about innovative change in footwear companies, the project leader, the Technical University of Iasi in Romania, and the other partners call on all European footwear companies and education providers to use and benefit from this Knowledge4Foot platform, which will be soon available for free at www.knowledge4foot.eu