New Prato:
Innovative project

TCBL Business laboratories project

The space where to release creative energies

TCBL (Textile & Clothing Business Labs) is a four-year project: it was launched on 1 July 2015 and will end on 30 June 2019. It is managed by the Municipality of Prato as leader of a working group consisting of 15 partners from 8 European Countries. Partly funded by the European Commission, the project aims to bring back to Europe, by 2015, 5% of the manufacturing capacity of the textile and clothing industry.
The context within which it operates exploits the opportunities provided by new technologies, new creative energies, and innovation in organizational models in order to counteract the difficulties of the textile industry and to redirect consumers towards ethically and environmentally sustainable choices, just as companies strongly desire to do.

The small size of companies in the textile and clothing sector has dictated a shared sectoral project, and TCBL can bridge the gap with "business labs" where companies can test innovations at reasonable cost.
There will be three types of laboratory:
• Design Lab, to enable professionals, fashion students or anyone with an interest in this area to explore innovations in textile and clothing design.
• Making Lab, to change manufacturing methods with the introduction of laser cutting, 3D printing and other innovations at the service of traditional dressmaking and tailoring.
• Place Lab, to reach citizens or possible collective laboratories through the internet and activate on-demand production.

Many companies in the sector, of different size and focus, are involved in this project. They will be offered interactive knowledge and learning services and customized services in support of the new business models (training, logistics, etc.).
By the end of the project, we expect 90 laboratories, 240 manufacturing companies, 35 service companies and 15 Start-ups to become directly involved in this creative process.