Co-creating Radical Innovations – Dagorà Lifestyle Innovation Hub and SIP-TI-LTCC are part of the federal Innovation Booster Program in Ticino

Lugano, January 29, 2024 – The City of Lugano, Dagorà Lifestyle Innovation Hub (Leading House), and Switzerland Innovation Park Ticino – Lifestyle Tech Competence Center (SIP-TI-LTCC – Alliance Member) proudly presented the goals of the Innovation Booster Fashion and Lifestyle program today. This is the first initiative in Ticino to receive approval and funding from the federal Innovation Booster program.

Innovation Booster – co-funded by Innosuisse with 2 million francs over 4 years – is a federal program that serves as a benchmark for radical innovation in Switzerland in various sectors, including fashion, beauty, sportswear, luxury, and lifestyle. The program aims to co-create projects and initiatives by promoting collaboration between two types of partners: on the one hand, Swiss research institutes and academies, and on the other, national and international enterprises, investors, and end-users.

The main objective is to provide a joint and innovative response to economic challenges. Dagorà Lifestyle Innovation Hub is the program reference along with SIP-TI-LTCC, which will manage workshop activities, scouting, and coordinate a qualified jury that will select the innovative ideas and teams to be financed.

The launch event was attended by Michele Foletti, Mayor of the City of Lugano; Stefano Rizzi, Director of the Economic Division of the Canton of Ticino; Emile Dupont, Head of the Knowledge and Technology Team, Innosuisse; Carlo Terreni, President, Dagorà SA; Jelena Tašić Pizzolato, General Manager, Switzerland Innovation Park Ticino- Lifestyle Tech Competence Center; Natale Consonni, Entrepreneur, Investor, President and Founder, Venture and Creation; Rino Castiglione, CEO and Co-founder of Alpha Square Invest and the president of Gas Milano 1984, Mauro Dal Bosco, CFO, 7 For All Mankind and Elena Marchiori Digital Innovation and Research Lead of Lugano Living Lab.

 

Program Objectives

  • Identifying challenges in the sector: The program identifies and analyzes open innovation challenges in the sectors of fashion, beauty, sportswear, luxury, and lifestyle, on topics such as sustainable  technologies, artificial intelligence applied to fashion, innovative materials, digitalization, and more.
  • Promoting collaborations: The Innovation Booster encourages significant collaborations among various participants: Swiss research institutes and academies, entrepreneurs, investors, and national and international end-users.
  • Supporting innovation: The program funds up to 10 innovation teams each year, with a maximum of 25,000 Swiss francs for each approved idea. The idea should lead to the conception of radical solutions (first phase) that will then be tested (second phase).

 

Timeline
Innovation Booster foresees 4 years of development with the following schedule for 2024:

  1. Challenge Phase:
    • from January to mid-March, onboarding of the first co-investors and partners by the Leading House, Dagorà Lifestyle Innovation Hub.
    • from mid-March to mid-April, identification and formalization of challenges through a workshop managed by the Alliance Member, SIP-TI-LTCC followed by in-depth idea workshops.
    • on April 22nd, during the Lifestyle Innovation Day at the LAC in Lugano, the challenges registered in the Innovation Booster will be presented.
  2. Ideas Phase:
    • from mid-April to June, collection of applications by Innovation Teams, composed of at least one Swiss research institute or academy and one or more enterprises, investors, associations, or end-users.
    • from June to July, evaluation of the best ideas presented to the Innovation Booster jury.
  3. Implementation and Testing of Ideas:
    • from August to December, funding of up to 10 winning ideas for a total of 25,000 Swiss francs for each selected idea and team.

During 2024, events and training courses will be organized to stimulate the creation of ideas, collaboration between teams, and to seek new partners and co-financers for the federal program. Furthermore, in October 2024, a new workshop will define the challenges for 2025.

Perspectives

The Mayor of Lugano, Michele Foletti, noted the exceptional nature of the decision of the federal agency Innosuisse, which for the first time is funding an Innobooster program in Ticino, investing a significant financial contribution (2 million over 4 years). “Lugano is a city at the forefront of innovation: projects and programs like this, which contribute to accelerating innovation by creating broad networks of collaboration, strengthen and support the Municipality’s development strategies.” He also added: “This is a further confirmation of the good work of Dagorà and SIP LTCC, which comes a month before the inauguration of the new space in downtown Lugano and consolidates, bringing their activities to national attention. I therefore thank them for their determination in promoting innovation in the lifestyle sector in Ticino.”

Stefano Rizzi, Director of the Division of Economy, Republic and Canton of Ticino, welcomed positively and with great pride the launch of the federal “Innobooster” program for the first time in Ticino and for the first time in the lifestyle-tech sector, emphasizing that it is a “fine demonstration of the systemic work of support for innovation that we have been carrying out for years, in favor of an increasingly innovative, competitive, attractive Ticino.”

Emile Dupont, Head of the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Team at Innosuisse: “Innosuisse’s mission is to promote innovation, with efficiency, market proximity and by facilitating networking. We have created the Innovation Booster program to fund excellent associations and organizations that want to animate thematic communities and help them develop and test radical ideas to find, together, innovative solutions to common problems. We are very pleased with this first initiative based in Ticino and to be able to facilitate, through this funding, Dagorà, SIP-TI-LTCC and their community in generating more than 350 ideas and testing 40 of them over the next 4 years.

Carlo Terreni, President Dagorà and SIP-TI-LTCC: “The launch of the Innovation Booster encourages collaboration at the national and international level, positioning Lugano and Ticino as an innovation hub in the fashion and lifestyle sector. For this reason, we are looking for new co-financing partners to join those already confirmed including Hugo Boss, 7 For All Mankind, Gruppo Florence, Clinique La Prairie, and the investment holdings Venture and Creation and Alpha Square Invest”.

Jelena Tašić Pizzolato, General Manager SIP-TI-LTCC: “The Lifestyle Tech Competence Center Association is proud to participate in the program as an Alliance Member and our team is well-equipped to manage the innovation program, thanks to specific know-how and methodological rigor acquired over the years.

Mauro Dal Bosco, Global CFO 7For All Mankind: “For a company like 7FAM, based in Ticino, which makes innovation its main growth driver, participating in IB is a unique opportunity to collaborate between research institutes and companies to develop new competitive advantages in the fashion sector. 7FAM is part of a Group where innovation is in its DNA and, as a Premium Denim Fashion Brand, we consider innovation one of the pillars for future growth both in terms of product and business processes. Being part of IB, collaborating and accessing competencies rooted in the economic and technological fabric of Ticino, is a source of enormous professional stimulation, aimed at finding innovative solutions to apply to our business.

Natale Consonni, Entrepreneur, Investor, President and Founder, Venture and Creation: “Being in constant dialogue with the innovation needs of the lifestyle tech sector will allow our investment holding to identify, understand, collaborate and, potentially, finance new business ideas based on radical ideas that change the future of the market.

Rino Castiglione, CEO and Co-founder Alpha Square Invest, president and CEO Gas Milano 1984: “Alpha Square Invest is an investment holding born in Ticino, but operating internationally, with an investment philosophy focused on clear values: technological innovation; growth of its investments not only in a speculative key; sustainability and a strong contribution to local and international communities.” Castiglione specifies that “in the context of our investments in the lifestyle sector, we have acquired a significant stake in Gas Milano 1984 where, in addition to the financial contribution, we are providing fundamental managerial know-how and a strong impetus to product and process innovation. Therefore, joining the Innovation Booster Fashion and Lifestyle seems natural to us: with our skills, we can bring a privileged vision of the dynamics of the industry and a strong contribution in terms of technological innovation and sustainability.

Elena Marchiori, Digital Innovation and Research Lead of Lugano Living Lab: “We are very happy with this collaboration that sees Lugano Living Lab, the City of Lugano’s innovation laboratory, actively collaborating in a program in favor of innovation in the lifestyle sector. Lugano Living Lab will be part of the advisory board of the Innovation Booster Fashion and Lifestyle, providing coaching and guidance to teams that decide to participate in the call. This collaboration represents a further step towards strengthening the urban laboratory’s commitment to innovation and creativity.


Future collaborations and search for co-financing partners

Dagorà Lifestyle Innovation Hub is actively looking for partners interested in co-financing the innovation program. Among the announced partners are the companies Hugo Boss, 7 For All Mankind, Gas Milano 1984, Gruppo Florence, Clinique La Prairie, and the investment holdings Venture and Creation and Alpha Square Invest.

For further details on the program and to join as a supporter, visit the Innovation Booster Program website.

 

 

 

Dagorà Lifestyle Innovation Hub:
Dagorà Lifestyle Innovation Hub revolutionizes the interaction between companies, promoting innovation through a vibrant community that encourages the sharing of ideas across various sectors. Dagorà is a collaborative space where brands, technology service providers, retailers, and manufacturers come together to create new business opportunities. Our mission is to stimulate creativity and provide entrepreneurs and C-level managers with the necessary knowledge to develop their companies. Among our main activities are events and workshops for networking, services for coworking areas for innovation, and knowledge sharing through our online platform. With activities throughout Switzerland and headquartered in Lugano, Dagorà leads the future of corporate collaboration and innovation.

Innosuisse
Innosuisse, the Swiss Agency for the Promotion of Innovation, operates as a public law institute with legal personality. Its main commitment is to promote science-based innovation to foster economic and social development. Through innovation projects, networking activities, training, and coaching, Innosuisse aims to facilitate cooperation between science and the market, supporting Swiss startups in creating successful products and services, thus contributing to a prosperous economy over time.

SIP-TI- LTCC
The Lifestyle Tech Competence Center (SIP-TI- LTCC), part of the Swiss Innovation Park, is a competence center for lifestyle technology based in Switzerland, acting as a hub for research and development. The primary goal of the LTCC is to promote innovation in industries related to lifestyle. Collaborating with corporate partners, research institutes, and academies, LTCC brings together world-class expertise to provide practical solutions to the fundamental challenges of brands and retailers in the lifestyle sector. Thanks to access to funds and co-financing for innovation, LTCC initiates extraordinary projects, actively contributing to the transformation of the industry. Among the members of SIPTI-LTCC are the City of Lugano, Dagorà, Guess, Hypen, Lavazza, Loomish, Microsoft, Moresi.com, SUPSI, UBS, USI, VF Corporation, Accenture, Antares Vision Group, Assos of Switzerland, Bally, and Barilla.

Contact information

Carmen Machiels, Community & PR Manager – carmen.machiels@dagora.ch – +41 76 814 00 01