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European silk sector sets out future funding plan

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The European silk industry is hoping to secure investment to carry out research to improve the quality of its raw material and establish it as an alternative source to China.

The project 'Towards European Sericulture' was presented at a workshop for the textile and fashion industries on opportunities for financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

According to Philippe de Montgrand, president of the silk section of AIUFFASS, (the International Association of Users of Artificial and Synthetic Filament Yarns and of Natural Silk), the silk industry in Europe has a long tradition combined with a strong capacity to innovate. About 200 silk producing SMEs are concentrated in Lombardy (Italy) and Rhône-Alpes (France) providing 20,000 direct jobs.

urrently, raw silk supplies mainly depend on China – and EU fashion brands and silk manufacturers have expressed concerns at the long-term access to high quality raw silk and the risk of a supply shortage.

The proposed project aims to combine research and investment to develop a sustainable sericulture and reeling sector in Europe – a view that is supported by a preliminary study conducted with Marzotto SpA, Ratti SpA and silk research centres.

At this stage the European silk industry is seeking EU support in research and skills development, as well as financial backing for industrial investment.

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