The Spanish footwear association Fice and the local trade agency, Icex, have launched the second edition of the program Global Through Innovation, aimed at promoting innovation and the digitalization of the footwear industry. The initiative is scheduled to start in April and candidates must send their applications by March 12.

The overall funds available reach €600,000, of which half is financed by Icex. The maximum allotment per participant is €25,000. Fice and Icex will be assisted by the consultancy Izertis, which will carry out assessments for the companies participating in the program in order to outline customized innovation plans.

The first edition of Global Through Innovation was launched in September 2020 and implemented in November with the participation of brands such as Panama Jack, Ria Menorca and Eli 1957.

According to Fice and Icex, the program is ”an excellent opportunity for companies to begin as soon as possible to implement competitive improvements to combat the negative effects of Covid-19, without having to wait for funds from the European Union.”

The statement refers to European Union aid that will be distributed to Spain under the Next Generation EU (NGEU) scheme. 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 Spanish government is identifying strategic projects, subbed Perte, that will be eligible to EU funds.