Sono migliaia le imprese artigiane lombarde operative nel tessile. In Lombardy, several thousand artisanal enterprises are operative in the textile field.
The project in question, SPRIINT – Support for the Processes of Integrated Innovation – consists of providing a Temporary Innovation Mediator, or TIM, to work with a company that has requested the intervention of the figure. The TIM is a person who follows manufacturing step by step and lends support wherever specific skills are required: in the analysis of the needs and potential of the company, in the selection of research centres or other organizations that are able to give technical and scientific support to innovation projects, and in the economic-financial management of the investments. Thus the Temporary Innovation Mediator becomes the foundation and the strength of the initiative; every Mediator has been trained by the MIP Business School of
Milan Polytechnic, which has created a special course of studies for the preparation of this highly specialized figure who works side by side with the craftsmen. The competition, announced in 2008 and 2009, envisaged the acceptance of a maximum of 50 innovation projects that would be assisted by the TIMs; in reality, as the project contact person Gabriella Cadeddu explains, “All 58 projects presented were accepted, with the involvement of 60 handicraft businesses. All the manufacturers had already started up projects within the context of the Convention between the Lombardy Region and Unioncamere Lombardia; it has been understood how important it was to go ahead on the path that had already been traced. In this period of crisis, the Region has decided to send a message of
solidarity to craftsmen committed in innovation processes”. The project will end in February 2010 and the results of this experience will be examined. By that time, the beneficiaries of SPRIINT will have brought their projects to conclusion, but it is to be hoped that they will also have learned how to face a series of problems which, from now on, they will have to tackle on their own: foremost among these, managing the creation of innovative planning for their activity. Because, if there is one quality that distinguishes a modern selfemployed craftsman, it is that he is able to conserve the good habits and skills of the craft, without, however, becoming a prisoner of that which is “well-established”.
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