Full partners

Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen (Lead partner)


Hogeschool Gent (HOGENT University of Applied Sciences and Arts)


Saxion University of Applied Sciences




Plate-forme Technologique Européenne pour le Futur du Textile et de l’Habillement a.i.s.b.l.


Vilnius University of Applied Sciences


Associated partners

‘’Gheorghe Asachi’’ Technical University of Iasi




MB KUZ Mados Dizaino Studija




Municipality of Enschede


SaXcell B.V.


Max. funding Phase 1
€ 300,000
Max. funding Phase 2
€ 900,000
Supported by
EIT Manufacturing
Coordinated by
EIT RawMaterials

Project description

CITE will create a new dynamic and agile ecosystem in, and between, select partners and higher education institutions to boost their innovation and entrepreneurship capacity. CITE will start by exploiting the existing structures, programmes and activities in place and implementing institutional change to bring an improved system into the game. In addition, CITE has chosen circular economy to be the initial topic of focus, as it is an overarching action plan across every single discipline which has regional and international cover (European Green Deal, Circular Regions, New European Bauhaus, etc.).

Recycled textiles account for not more than 40% of the textiles produced, and in certain areas − less than 1%. However, according to the new European Waste Framework Directive, by 2025 EU Member States must have a system in place for separate collection of textiles. There is huge potential to increase the recovery rates (reuse) and recycling of higher-value materials by bringing entrepreneurship and innovation into play. Moreover, the outcomes resulting from CITE in terms of start-ups, ideas, pilots, demonstrators, initiatives and networks will be scaled up afterwards to other higher education institutions (HEIs) and regions, impacting the world of circular economy on a European level.

Starting with the partners in this consortium alone, CITE covers a vast European region, including many EIT Regional Innovation Scheme countries. Also, there is already political cover for CITE, as the cities of the consortium partners support this initiative and will back it with available resources. Last but not least, the ecosystem will include not only partners and governmental entities, but also certain relevant industries, start-ups, non-governmental organisations, citizens, students and other HEIs. Unlike typical projects, this consortium has relatively fewer partners. This will allow for higher impact and more robust institutional change within the select HEIs. As a result, the universities will become entrepreneurship powerhouses and lighthouses for transformation for other HEIs down the road.

All CITE partners as well as the advisory board of experts and stakeholders will ensure the coordination, development, improvement and execution of the Innovation Vision Action Plan throughout the project lifetime and beyond. The Innovation Vision Action Plan comprises work packages and guidelines aligned with the HEInnovate assessments, the strategy documents of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities, EIT Impact Framework, European Green Deal, Smart Cities and Regions Initiative, smart specialisation strategies, and gender and diversity policies.

Project coordinator

Mohammad Chehade Mohammad Chehadé, Managing Director of the Center for Circular Economy, RWTH Aachen University (contact)

Project website


Project timeline

EIT HEI Timeline March 2022