The Portuguese footwear industry will invest 140 million euro over the next three years, through the Footwear and Fashion Cluster led by APICCAPS and the Footwear Technology Centre of Portugal (CTCP), with the aim of becoming “the international benchmark in development of sustainable solutions”, as well as “strengthening Portuguese exports on the basis of a highly competitive national production ground, centered on knowledge and innovation”.

The investment includes two distinct projects, which complement each other, framed in Portugal’s Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), APICCAPS and CTCP, which bring together more than 100 companies, including universities, firms and entitities of the scientific and technology system.

The BioShoes4All project, which is divided into five pillars – biomaterials, ecological footwear, circular economy, advanced production technologies and training and promotion – aims to “guarantee a resilient national production basis for positioning in foreign markets in which innovation, differentiation, quick and effective response, service, product quality, training and promotion are competitive arguments to overcome the competition”, as stated by Maria José Ferreira, of the Centro Tecnologico Calzaturiero and coordinator of the project.

The FAIST project, instead, intends to “increase the degree of specialisation of the Portuguese footwear industry towards new types of products” and increase “the supply capacity of Portuguese footwear companies, by strengthening the capacity to manufacture medium and large orders, using more efficient assembly processes”, as explained by Leandro de Melo, General Manager of the Footwear Technology Centre of Portugal”. If today – he explains – Portuguese companies are recognised for their capacity for innovation, for the efficient production of small orders or for their flexibility, they will now have to optimise processes and improve efficiency, to ensure further gains in competitivenes”.