SSIP, the Italian Leather Research Institute, launch Leather Innovation Challenges 2025. The program aims to examine and select a few research projects orientated towards innovation of process, by making use of new, 4.0-related technologies, and finished product. The announcement of selection, which is directed at all innovators actively playing across the leather supply chain, both at the beginning and at the end of it, is due to open on October 1st. “We are going to assess and evaluate projects also considering their own feasibility – pointed out Edoardo Imperiale, chief manager of SSIP –. The selection process is due to close at the beginning of January: in so doing, we shall manage to start works at the beginning of March. Yet should we formerly receive any ready-to-make projects, we could start our collaborating activity with them ahead of schedule”.
Leather Innovation Challenges
One of the purposes of the program, continued Imperiale, is to pinpoint, in the next five-year period, the definition of “a new industrial model, that is digital tannery, to be first tested in an experimental manner”. They presented the announcement of selection during the Bioeconomy Day: focus on Sustainability, Circular Economy and Open Innovation conference. “In so doing, SSIP aims to provide Made in Italy manufacturing with a paramount and essential support – emphasized Graziano Balducci, managing director of Conceria Antiba (Antiba tannery) and president of the Italian Leather Research Institute –. Leather may become, more and more, a sustainable and quality product”.
Still several innovation areas may possibly apply to the tanning process. “Among others, just in example given, I am thinking about processing scraps, which can be used as a material suitable for 3D printing”, remarked Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, general secretary of Cotance. “Leather tanning industry has been working, for a while, in full accordance with circular economy – wrapped up Fulvia Bacchi, general manager of UNIC-Italian Tanneries –. We are talking about an excellence as much as a strategic sector that should be carefully safeguarded. Research development, in the bioeconomy field, may supply a rather valuable support to eradicate some prejudice, still deep-seated around people, about leather industry”.
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