Driving innovation in the textile and aerospace industries


GALACTICA is being launched as an EU-funded INNOSUP project with the aim of boosting the innovative strength of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the textile and aerospace sectors. Cooperations between companies in these sectors at various levels of the individual value chains are designed to enable both the enhancement of existing processes and products as well as the generation of new ones. The main priorities will be to help SMEs from both industries to benefit from each other’s experience and expertise as well as to foster new cross-sectoral processes and innovative products that can give rise to new value chains based on advanced manufacturing technologies.

With over 2 million employees across Europe, the textile and aerospace sectors are among the most important industries in Europe. As different as they might seem at first glance, these two industries face similar challenges when it comes to incorporating smart manufacturing technologies into their production processes.

Through its engagement, GALACTICA will make it easier for participating companies, institutions and clusters to develop and adopt intelligent industrial systems, the Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. Teaming up to form the GALACTICA consortium are eight European clusters from the textile and aerospace sectors as well as two network managers (AKA innovation agents), who are responsible for forging and cultivating ties among the individual players in different countries: AEI Tèxtils in Catalonia (project coordination), ATEVAL in Valencia and CTA in Andalusia, NTT in Italy, CORALLIA in Greece, Süderelbe AG in Germany, PRODUCTECH in Portugal, EMC2 in France, EBAN in Belgium, and the Science Park Graz in Austria.

The project’s total budget of EUR 5 million will mainly be used to directly support the R&D efforts of SMEs. The first call for proposals has been scheduled for this coming March, and another one is planned for January 2022. At the same time, the GALACTICA project team will be organising workshops, hackathons, matchmaking events and online webinars. As part of joint development efforts, the GALACTICA project will come up with new ideas, advance innovations and enable the creation of new value chains. In addition to product development, these research efforts will focus on optimising processes and expanding service portfolios. Bolstering the innovative strength of these SMEs will be the key to the success of the GALACTICA project.

Thanks to the consortium’s extensive networking efforts, a total of 1,400 SMEs, 170 larger companies and more than 200 research institutions in eight EU countries can be accessed directly through the network. To develop and realise the ideas they have come up with as part of the GALACTICA project, 80 of these SMEs will receive direct financial support from the European Union. SMEs from the textile and aerospace industries can obtain more information on how to benefit from the GALACTICA project by contacting our new colleague, Jona Helmert.