The Mallorca-based footwear company Camper and the consultancy FI Group are leading a consortium which has presented to the Spanish government an expression of interest to obtain European funds to create a new production model integrating elements of the circular economy, such as recycling materials, and targeting the development of more durable goods.

The consortium, which also includes the Menorcan shoe maker Mascaró, is seeking to obtain €25 million from the European Commission’s Next Generation EU (NGEU) program. NGEU is a €750 billion recovery fund launched by the European Commission following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Spain will be the second largest recipient of funds, after Italy, with €140 billion allotted between 2021 and 2026. The package is composed of €72.7 billion in grants, which do not need to be repaid, and the remainder in loans.

The consortium includes a string of companies and institutions including Inescop, the Spanish technological institute for footwear and related industries. It also has the support of the regional government of the Balearic Islands.

Earlier this year, the Elche footwear cluster near Valencia announced the lauch a project called Eco Challenge, which aims to reduce manufacturing costs by 30 percent through the re-engineering of the manufacturing process. The project, which is estimated to represent an overall investment of €170 million, is also scheduled to apply for NGEU funds.

 Photo: © Tom Podmore on Unsplash