DeFINE Network

DeFINE is a collaborative project to form a European fashion-technology community


DeFINE is a three year (2018-2021) collaborative project co-funded by the European Commission’s COSME programme to develop a network of incubators & accelerators, start-ups & SMEs, and financiers to form a European fashion-technology community where cross-sectoral knowledge will be shared, ideas will grow and transnational collaboration will be nurtured. It thus aims to support the fusion of cutting-edge technologies and innovation with the European fashion and design industries.

Throughout the three years of the project (2018-2021), deFINE is set to deliver a Europe-wide programme of inter-related networking events, training, mentoring support and knowledge-sharing.


Among its activities, DeFINE is currently working on building up a incubator & accelerator map with all the most relevant organizations that can be found across Europe.

Likewise, the network also offers an extensive mentoring programme where fashion entrepreneurs can find technical and strategic support in order to facilitate and scale-up innovations in term of products/services, processes, and market approaches within the Fashion-Tech field.

It is also developing a Directory to search for professionals from tech brands, fashion ventures, solution providers, students, financiers and many more.

To end with, DeFINE has also presence in various events across Europe in which they provide information about its various activities and programmes.

Mentoring Programme

DeFINE’s most notorious activity is its Mentoring Programme. This aims to deliver to 25 businesses technical and strategic support in order to facilitate and scale-up innovations in term of products/services, processes, and market approaches within the Fashion-Tech field.

This Mentorship aims to boost innovation through knowledge transfer and cross-sectoral collaboration. Mentors will be selected from the consortium partners which are European leading fashion and design academic institutions, Business Support Organizations and industry specialist networks.

Consortium Partners

DeFINE works hand-in-hand with the following organizations:

1. The European Business and Innovation Centre of Burgos (CEEI-Burgos). A a non-for-profit organisation formed in 1994 by the following partners: City Council of Burgos, Provincial Government of Burgos and Federation of Burgos Managers Associations; and is an active member of EBN (European Business and Innovation Centre Network), ANCES (National Association of Spanish BICs) and PAIT (Spanish official network for creation of new companies).

2. CyRIC. CyRIC is a leading Business Innovation Center developing disruptive products for the world markets and providing unique, high quality services to the industry. CyRIC is committed to propel innovation and nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cyprus and overseas.

3. EURATEX. As the voice of the European textile and clothing industry, EURATEX aims to create a favourable environment within the European Union for design, development, manufacture and marketing of textile and clothing products.

4. Fondazione Politecnico di Milano (FPM). This fundation was set up in 2003 by Politecnico di Milano and by a group of public and private bodies, including large enterprises and public authorities, to contribute to the economic and cultural growth by promoting innovation and competitiveness in business at an international level.

5. EBN. EBN is a network of up to 130 quality-certified EU Business and Innovation Centres (BIC) and 70 organisations that support the development and growth of innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs. EBN is also a community of professionals whose day-to-day work helps these businesses grow in the most effective, efficient and sustainable way.

6. Borås Ink. An incubator that supports entrepreneurs and innovators in technology, textiles and fashion with business development – from business concept to market establishment. They work to ensure that more startups make their first take off in the business world.

7. IFM. The IFM is a higher education institution offering a broad range of expertise: postgraduate academic programs, executive education, and research in areas such as textile, fashion, luxury and design.

8. Politecnico di Milano. The university has been around since 1863, and has been delivering education, research and consultancy activities in the field of engineering, architecture and design.

9. Media Deals. A pan-European investor network gathering business angels and early-stage venture capital funds focusing on Creative Industries and digital media.

10. University of the Arts London – London College of Fashion (UAL-LCF). A university that offers world leading courses in all things fashion, from business to design and fashion curation. With over 60 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and 165 short courses, LCF students are collaborators, and together have the ability to reinvent the fashion industry for the next 100 years.

Board Members

DeFINE’s board of members are the following:

Jennie Rosén – CEO, Swedish Fashion Council

Robb Young – Global Markets Editor, The Business of Fashion (BoF)

Brigitte Stepputtis – Global Head of Couture, Vivienne Westwood

Kari Härkönen – Chief Digital Officer, Marimekko

Pieter Lammens – Founder and Director, Lafayette Plug and Play

Gilles Lasbordes – Managing Director, Première Vision

Philippe Ribera – Vice President, Innovation, Lectra

Alicia Birr – Head of Strategic Planning, Google France

David Grunwald – VP of Innovation, Farfetch

Marco Odisio – CEO, Brands Distribution UK and USA

Rebecca Kelley – European Product and Marketing Manager, The Woolmark Company