5th General Assembly of Vestechpro: great perspectives !
Montreal, November 24, 2016 - Vestechpro, apparel research and innovation centre, held its 7th General Assembly on October 19 at the Loews Hôtel Vogue in Montreal. Guests celebrated the 5th anniversary of the creation of the Centre and its most recent accomplishments with enthusiasm. Since 2011, Vestechpro has not only established itself as a research centre at the very heart of the apparel industry, but has also strengthened its innovative capacity in a sector which has seen profound changes and faced serious challenges over the past few years.
Supported by the expertise of experienced professionals committed to the development of the apparel sector, Vestechpro has been able to seize the opportunities arising from the challenges and issues facing the sector. The recently-created centre has encouraged companies and organizations to work together to embrace new technology and to favour the sharing of knowledge, skills and resources, with a particular emphasis on applied research, entrepreneurship and international development. In this way, Vestechpro has been able to create a strategic synergy among all those involved in the industry.
Building on its close collaboration with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISEDC), the National Research Council Canada (NRCC), the Smart Textile and Wearables Innovation Alliance, College and Institutes Canada (CICan), le Bureau de la mode and Grappe mmode, Vestechpro has rapidly become an indispensable reference for technical advice, training and information for companies from here and elsewhere. Moreover, Ms. Paulette Kaci, Executive Director, took part in two overseas missions last year: one to Senegal and the other to Tunisia.
As the third-largest city in North America for apparel production, Montreal has at its disposal a pool of diverse and competitive companies, some of which are world-class. This rich environment has acted as a catalyst in the diversification of business models (online sales, made-to-measure clothing, wearables, adaptative clothing…) and requires more flexibility from industry players in order to respond to emerging market needs. In response to this, Vestechpro has consolidated its research infrastructure: over the past 5 years, the number of research projects undertaken by the centre has tripled. During the same period, revenues from technical assistance have grown 20 fold, while over the past year, revenues from training programmes and information have grown by 48%.
In 2015, in collaboration with the Bureau de la mode, Vestechpro organized Wear It Smart, the first ever wearables conference in Quebec. The conference was a huge success with the tech community and consolidated Vestechpro’s pivotal role in the smart clothing sector. The second edition of Wear It Smart in Fall 2016 was equally successful and the third edition in 2017 is already being planned.
Another significant project on which the Centre is currently working is Size NorthAmerica, whose objective is to develop an industry-specific size chart. Vestechpro is collaborating with Human Solutions, the world leader in ergonomics and 3D scanners, to conduct the first-ever anthropometric survey in North America. Involving 19, 000 men, women and children between the ages of 6 and 75, data collection is already underway in several cities across the USA and will shortly begin in Canada.
Vestechpro gave a highly positive account of the progress made, and proud of its achievements in collaboration with leading researchers and industry players, looks to the future with confidence. In only five years, Vestechpro has drawn upon its expertise and convincingly demonstrated its credibility while making informed decisions which guarantee sound long-term management.