Artificial intelligence (AI) and retail

Given the increasing cost of R&D, more companies are looking to acquire innovative businesses to gain access to new products and services, so the emergence of new, disruptive technology will remain an important trend to watch. In 2019 alone, organisations around the world spent $2.3 trillion on R&D – the equivalent of roughly 2 percent of global GDP – about half of which came from industry and the remainder from governments and academic institutions, according to McKinsey. Further, annual investment into R&D has been growing at approximately 4 percent per year over the past decade to 2020. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in transactions pursued with the primary purpose of acquiring capabilities or technologies across key disruptive innovation categories, such as FinTech, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, among others, according to Deloitte. There is rising demand for innovations associated with the internet of things (IoT), AI, and sustainable, energy-efficient technologies. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic also propelled innovation and business transformation. A major area of focus for acquirers will be the environmental, social and governance (ESG) sustainable rating. On the environmental side, commitments to reduce carbon emissions and transition to greener energy sources will fuel M&A opportunities for new technologies and products. With regulators, investors and customers among the stakeholder groups demanding that companies give more consideration to ESG, the focus on ESG innovations will only intensify.

2023 April, 5th update

Artificial intelligence (AI) and retail. As the world’s largest search engines unveiled new AI robots, the artificial intelligence (AI) is taking hold in  the value chain of fashion accessories, furniture, apparel and footwear, from optimizing resale experiences, helping shoppers find products that are suitable for reducing returns and customizing the purchase journey. (Read more)

2023 February, 24th update

Towards a Chinese alternative to Western chatbots for maintenance and customer service. Beijing municipal officials said they would support companies developing artificial intelligence tools rivaling ChatGPT. [ChatGPT frenzy prompts China firms to seek home-grown … – japantimes]. (Read more)

2023 February, 14th update

Austrade has signed a MoU with India for vocational education and training programmes. The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) has signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Leather Sector Skill Council. The MoU would focus on job roles relating to 3D printing, product design, automation engineering, and computerised stitching machine operations, among others, in the leather industry. [Austrade signs MoU with Leather Sector Skill Council in key … –]. (Read more)

2023 February, 10th update

Energy Technology Perspectives 2023. Analysis of the risks and opportunities surrounding the development of clean energy and technology supply chains viewed through the lenses of energy security, resilience and sustainability. The Energy Technology Perspectives 2023 (International Energy Agency – IEA) provides a comprehensive analysis of global manufacturing of clean energy technologies today – such as solar panels, wind turbines, EV batteries, electrolysers for hydrogen and heat pumps – and their supply chains around the world. (Read more)

2023 January, 26th update

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning: ChatGPT becomes a scientific author. The software turns robot-translators into editors. ChatGPT and other programs can do something similar to writers, such as journalists, artists, or lecturers and technical writers, such as patent extenders, instruction manual editors, and maintenance technicians. ChatGPT has the potential to help writing and make language more accessible. To learn more:  “Microsoft Considers $10 Billion Investment in ChatGPT Creator“, Bloomberg – “Will AI Make Creative Workers Redundant?” – WSJ. (Read more)

2023 January, 5th update

Teijin’s highly biodegradable PLA resin reduces microplastics. PLA is the most widely used material for 3D printing, pellets, injection-and-extrusion-molded products, textiles and non-woven fabrics. Tejin Frontier Co Ltd, the Teijin Group’s fibres and products converting company, says it has developed a practical polylactic acid (PLA) resin that biodegrades faster in oceans, rivers and soil compared to conventional PLA products. [Teijin Frontier Develops Practical, Highly Biodegradable PLA …]. (Read more)

2022 December, 12th update

Taiwan University, firm partner to make footwear textiles from industrial waste. L’Università Nazionale di Kaohsiung (NUK) ha dichiarato lunedì di aver collaborato con un’azienda dell’industria dei semiconduttori per produrre un tipo di tessuto dai rifiuti di quel settore, che ora viene utilizzato per realizzare scarpe. [University, firm partner to make footwear textiles from … –]. (Read more)

Digital Technology Seminar at International Shoes & Leather Exhibition in Vietnam: Taiwan guest. Taiwan’s shoe-making industry entered into a period of sustained digital transformation during the pandemic, with total exports reaching a remarkable US$93.71 million in 2021, up 23.19% when compared with the previous year. [The digital transformation of the world’s footwear sector is … –  prnasia]. (Read more)

2022 October, 28th update

Washington’s restrictions are designed to curb Beijing’s plans for technological self-sufficiency. Shares of China’s major chipmakers lost $8.6 billion in market value on Monday. According to @FinancialTimes the cause is US export controls that have threatened to obstruct Beijing’s plans for technological self-sufficiency. [China chip stocks lose $8.6bn in wipeout due to US export … – FT]. (Read more)

2022 October, 21st update

IULTCS Young Leather Scientist Grant Programme 2023 announced. The Executive Committee of the IULTCS is pleased to announce the 2023 grants to be awarded to three young scientists, under the age of 35, for research projects in the categories: Basic Leather Research, Machinery / Testing and Sustainability / Environment – to be conducted at a recognised institution in 2023. Details of the eligibility requirements are available on the IULTCS website YSLG_application_rules_and_procedure_2023.pdf ( (Read more)

2022 August, 16th update

Building up America’s manufacturing and technological edge to counter China. The U.S. Senate passed [Senate Passes $280 Billion Industrial Policy Bill to Counter China – NYT] by a bipartisan vote (64 to 33) a $280 billion bill, the so-called Chips (Creating helpful incentives to produce semiconductors) & Science Act.  [House Passes Chips Act to Boost U.S. Semiconductor Production – WSJ]. (Read more)

2022 July, 7th update

How Technology Is Tearing Down Fashion’s Value Chain Siloes. Few off-the-shelf solutions are designed to integrate the fashion value chain from end to end, meaning companies need to build custom solutions. Integrated, digitally enabled value chain solutions can help brands see up to a 50% increase in speed to market, up to 8% rise in full-price sell through and up to a 20% decline in manufacturing costs. This article appeared in The State of Fashion: Technology, an in-depth report co-published by BoF and McKinsey & Company. (Read more)

A technology that traces the product chain. Inaugurated in Florence the method that combines sustainability and transparency through an innovative platform. A technology that guarantees transparency on the supply chain and products. By scanning a Qr code on the product, you access an interactive interface that allows you to navigate the supply chain in an intuitive way, but also to discover the sustainability elements of the specific collection. (Read more)

2022 June, 23rd update

China, study for the removal of Cr(VI) by biochar. Chromium is widely present in the leather processing process, but it should only be the trivalent one, less harmful to humans and the environment. However, it is sometimes found as a production residue resulting from the treatment of sludge produced from tannery waste. A study on the thermochemical decomposition of oily sludge experiments with how to mitigate pollution and obtain charcoal-like substance known as Biochar, which can improve carbon sequestration and soil fertility. [Removal of Cr(VI) by biochar derived via co-pyrolysis of oily … – Nature]. (Read more)

Articoli aggiornati il 8 giugno 2022

Plastic-eating enzyme could eliminate billions of tons of landfill waste. An enzyme variant created by engineers and scientists at the University of Texas at Austin can break down plastic, in just a matter of hours or days. This discovery, published in Nature, could help solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems: plastic waste polluting natural lands and water. The project focuses on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a polymer found in most consumer packaging and some fibres and textiles. It makes up 12% of all global waste. (Read more)

2022 May, 24th update

Two new multi-sectoral technological poles in Vietnam: Auto, Electronics, Mechanical, Textile, Leather & Footwear Sectors. Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is implementing infrastructure investment procedures for two technology centers for industrial development in the northern and southern regions, in the auto, electronics, mechanical, textile, leather and footwear sectors, according to Fibre2Fashion. Meanwhile, the country’s Industrial Production Index (IIP) rose 9.4% year-on-year and 2% month-on-month in April. (Read more)

2022 May, 18th update

McKinsey: State of Fashion Technology Report 2022. Fashion’s been heeding the call of technology for years—and the industry’s future is looking even more digital, with fashion companies expecting to double tech investments by 2030 to stay competitive. There are many ways they can apply innovative digital resources to better serve customers and increase business efficiency. Where are executives leaning in, and what are opportunities for creatively using robotics, AI, and other technologies to their advantage? McKinsey’s State of Fashion Technology Report 2022 dives deeper on the dynamics and highlights five key technology themes with potential. (Read more)

2022 May, 9th update

Uşak Bovine Leather Processing Centre opened. Co-financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey, T.C. As part of the “Uşak Cattle Leather Processing Project” implemented by the Competitive Sectors Program carried out by the Ministry of Industry and Technology, one of Turkey’s most modern leather processing facilities, UBDİT, was opened in Uşak. (Read more)

2022 April, 19th update

Foot Locker Inc. x Puma “Be Seen” for Autism Acceptance Month. With Autism Acceptance Month here, Foot Locker Inc. has revealed a plan to show its commitment to the cause — and has tapped Diadora, Puma and others to help. [Foot Locker Inc. Taps Puma and Diadora to Create Adaptive Shoes for Autism Acceptance Month – FN]. (Read more)

2022 April, 11th update

JBS Couros invests 40,000 euros in a new research center in Italy. JBS Couros, a subsidiary of JBS, has announced a contribution of 40 thousand euros (about 200 thousand R$) for the creation of a research center in Milan. In a statement, the company says the center’s goal is to develop and support knowledge about biomaterials, their environmental effects, and establish production parameters and best practices. The organization will be managed by Spin 360, a consulting firm specializing in sustainable business models. (Read more)