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INEGI brings expertise in biomechanics, ecodesign and sensing to the footwear industry

21 September 2023
Leveraging new materials, technologies, processes and footwear and leather goods products with the aim of facilitating the transition of the footwear and fashion cluster to a sustainable and circular bioeconomy approach is the main objective of the new BioShoes4All project, which has the contribution of INEGI.

With a special focus on the transition to the bioeconomy and sustainable circular economy, this initiative is the footwear industry's commitment to strengthening resilience and continuing the internationalization of the sector. It is based on five pillars: biomaterials, ecological footwear, circular economy, advanced production technologies, and training and promotion.

INEGI will contribute in the fields of biomechanics, ergonomics, ecodesign and sensorization and, more specifically, the INEGI team is in charge of developing sensorized and ecological work safety footwear, in partnership with AMF, a safety footwear company .

This is a safety shoe that, in addition to protecting the worker's feet against external dangers, will help monitor various parameters that characterize workers' activities, such as the number of steps, time spent standing, overloads, among others. . Issuing alerts and risk situations could be a way of mitigating and preventing occupational injuries for workers, as is the case with detecting unsuitable loads.

As Nilza Ramião, responsible for the project, explains, "industry 5.0 emerges as an evolutionary milestone, connecting automation, human-machine collaboration and the essential incorporation of sustainability”. In this context, the preservation of workers' health is ensured through reconfiguration of tasks, including "the integration of technologies such as collaborative robots and the promotion of healthier working environments”.

Led by APICCAPS – Portuguese Association of Footwear, Components, Leather Goods and Their Substitutes, the consortium brings together 69 partners and has a budget of close to 80 million euros.

The footwear sector in Portugal has an important position in the Portuguese business fabric. According to APICCAPS, it has grown at an accelerated pace, having recorded production and turnover records in 2022, with exports reaching 2 billion euros.

The BioShoes4All project: Innovation and training of the footwear sector for the sustainable bioeconomy is financed by the European Union through Next Generation EU and the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), within the scope of the Sustainable Bioeconomy operational program supported by the Environmental Fund.

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