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Framework of Integrated Technologies for User Centred Products (FIT4U)
Start date: Jul 1, 2009, End date: Jun 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Ongoing social and economic globalization processes will offer major challenges on the global market for consumer oriented manufacturing sectors. In particular, the shoes and gloves markets are expected to grow by more than 25% within the next 5 years, and the market niches for high value added shoes and gloves are expected to grow even faster. As a consequence there is today a unique opportunity for the European Footwear and Sport Industries to improve their competitiveness on such market segments. To face such a challenge the present project will develop a new engineering framework for both products & processes integrating: new technologies and devices to integrate the consumer in shoes and gloves conception, specification and design; innovative 3D knowledge based integrated design tools; micro and nano devices providing shoes and gloves with innovative sensing and actuating functionalities; innovative high-performing materials with self-adaptive capabilities; adaptive production processes and technologies; new bio-materials and clean production processes. The expected outcome of the proposed project will be an integrated technology framework for the engineering of fully personalised shoes and gloves based on a 3 to 5 days time-to-market criterion. Such a framework will be validated and assessed on pilot production lines, and new differentiated consumer-centred shoes and gloves will be delivered as fully engineered prototypes. Main objectives of present project proposal are to raise competitiveness of the European Footwear and Sport Industry on the shoes and gloves high value added global market niches, so giving the opportunity to many European companies along the considered value chains to grow by more than 25% in the next 5 years; and to improve consumers satisfaction and well being through differentiated, comfortable, safe, healthy, affordable and sustainable user centred high value added shoes and gloves.

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