In this module, specific training is provided on innovation management, creativity processes and product development aiming at promoting better products with strong added value, particularly in the context of crafts and semi-industrial businesses. 

By the end of the training, the learner should be able to: 

1. Understand what creativity is, how it emerges and how creative thinking can be developed in order to generate more diverse and better ideas.
2. Comprehend that there are different types of product innovation as well as some internal and external barriers to it.
3. Understand the challenges associated to the sustainability of innovation within organisations, notably concerning the establishment of models, routines and responsibilities for the management of and allocation of resources to innovation processes.
4. Identify the similarities and particularities of crafts and semi industrial activities based on case studies from different countries.
5. Apply the concepts learned to the context they work and reflect on their application to their (future) businesses.
6. Look at creativity and product innovation tools and methodologies as an opportunity to become and to stay competitive in the market.


Learn how to...

pitch your idea to investors, partners or customers.
Be yourself. Believe in your idea. Know your stuff.
Be authentic. Be passionate. Be prepared.

12 Case Studies to...

illustrate well succeeded innovation practices adopted by organisations from different countries, based on an intensive research work conducted by all the partners involved in the project.

Case study 1: REG’ART

Optician-glasses maker
Organization: REG’ART
Country: France
City: Lyon
Foundation year: 2013
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Optician-glasses maker
Short description: Florentin Robert has a BTS Optician’s diploma and is specialized in contactology, optometry and low-vision. Before launch is own business in 2013, he worked for 3 years in the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (a winner of the prestigious MOF craftsmen’s competition) in order to deep him knowledge on how to produce glasses. Currently, he creates custom glasses adapted to the customer’s anatomy and tastes, using unusual materials (e.g. textiles, wood, horn, granite or stone) to make unique designs. His latest innovation is a fully inlaid lens he created by developing a process involving a stream of water.

Case study 2: YUME PEMA

Haute façon Laser workshop
Organization: YUME PEMA
Country: France
City: Régnié-Durette
Foundation year: 2012
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Haute façon Laser workshop
Short description: Mariane Sornin has graduated as a “haute couture city milliner” at the GRETA des métiers du Luxe in Paris and began her career in luxury prêt à porter. Following the bankruptcy of the last millinery company where she was artistic director, she decided to create her own company. Passionate about crafts, fine materials, the preservation of ancient practices, and avant-garde production technologies, she founded YUME PEMA, specialized in engraving and laser cutting of flexible materials (e.g. silk, Alcantara, leathers and even feathers), finding new ways to use these raw materials in the luxury market in sectors such as luggage, haute couture, luxury watchmaking, visual merchandising and packaging.

Case study 3: One & Only – Handmade accessories

Hand-crafted crochet bags and related accessories
Organization: One & Only – Handmade accessories
Country: Greece
City: Attica
Foundation year: 2014
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Hand-crafted crochet bags and related accessories
Short description: In the middle of economic crisis in Greece, Irini Papadopoulou quit her career on marketing and sales and returned to an old passion she had left behind many years before: traditional crochet and knitting. Inspired by a famous Italian brand and driven by her passion, talent and high aesthetic, she started ideating and creating her own crochet bags by combining the greek heritage of crochet with the latest fashion trends. Bringing this totally new product in the global market, Irini creates unique 100% hand-made crochet bags and clutches that are one of a kind, using high quality raw material, and dedicating many hours to knit each one.

Case study 4: Kurelu – The art of the loom

Hand-crafted crochet bags and related accessories
Organization: Kurelu – The art of the loom
Country: Greece
City: Crete
Foundation year: 2013
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Handmade loom rags, carpets and accessories
Short description: Aggeliki Genitsaridou studied interior design at the Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki. After working on interior design for many years, she decided to return to her roots and make her family’s old looms heard again. In 2013, she founded Kurelu (the Greek term “kourelou” refers to the Greek folklore rug made of pieces of rags, in particular old clothes) producing handmade loom floor covers and related products such as bags that are based on the rag rugs technique in their essence but modernized with the use of new materials and textiles, new patterns and a loom patent (an upgraded equipment that gives her the possibility to produce carpets of any size).

Case study 5: Materia Ceramica

Ceramics, pottery
Organization: Materia Ceramica
Country: Italy
City: Perugia
Foundation year: 1975
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Ceramics, pottery
Short description: Pozzo delle Ceramiche, a ceramic and decoration of pottery laboratory, was founded by Maria Antonietta Taticchi in 1975. In 2015, she proposed a new and innovative line of ceramics and design from which the laboratory takes its new name, “Materia Ceramica – Pink-Lamp”, in which the shapes of objects become a result of an experimental research. The pink-lamp project consists in producing a set of table lamps in collaboration with Eng. Giacomo Benedetti, who was entrusted in designing and engineering of the piece. The idea is to insert in the traditional process of the clay piece a new phase, which would allow to obtain a tile biscuit that is crafted through 3D printing. This way, it is possible to offer to the craftsman a geometrically perfect piece and a process that generates a minimum impact to the environment.

Case study 6: REGENESI

Design and handmade accessories
Organization: REGENESI
Country: Italy
City: Bologna
Foundation year: 2008
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Design and handmade accessories
Short description: Regenesi was born from the intuition and passion of Maria Silvia Pazzi. This organization designs, manufactures and markets original design products produced from post-consumer recycled materials. All the artefacts involve the use of recycled materials (e.g. aluminium, glass, leather or plastic cardboard), treated with novel processing techniques that ensure quality standards identical to those of virgin raw materials. The accessories cover a wide range of everyday life, from Home to Office such as furnishings, objects for the work up to fashion accessories. Every object, carefully made by hand by skilled Italian craftsmen, is produced to live Fashion and Design with full respect for man and environment.

Case study 7: MF Ceramics

Organization: MF Ceramics
Country: Portugal
City: Lisboa
Foundation year: 2011
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Ceramics
Short description: Margarida Fernandes is a Lisbon Art’s Faculty alumni with a degree in Product Design. After graduating and some stints at design studios, Margarida embraced the Ceramic craft. She went to Denmark and Amsterdam where she learned new techniques. After her Northern European experience, Margarida returned to Portugal and opened her own studio. To complement her earnings and keep the studio, Margarida has been doing some gigs restoring tiles, but as the business grows and becomes more demanding, she is becoming less and less available for this kind of work. She focused her work on long lasting high quality and superbly looking food and kitchen ware.

Case study 8: Piurra Furnituring - “a tale of a cabinet makers family”

Furniture and cabinet making
Organization: Piurra Furnituring - “a tale of a cabinet makers family”
Country: Portugal
City: Porto
Foundation year: 2007
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Furniture and cabinet making
Short description: Rui Viana was born in a family of wood craftsman. In 1995, Rui finished a professional course of architecture technical drawer. In 2002, he decided to go back to school and enrolled in an Industrial Design degree. After that, he started a stint at a furniture maker. He challenged the owner of the company and his boss to create a new furniture brand and at the end of 2007, Piurra was established. Currently, Piurra is owned by Rui and its operation was embedded in the family’s and woodworking business. The capacity to innovate, keeping in mind the capabilities of the family workshop and respecting the materials and raw matter but, at the same time, being able to foster partnerships and outsource competencies are some of the aspects which make it unique.

Case study 9: Beleza do Sal

Organization: Beleza do Sal
Country: Portugal
City: Aveiro
Foundation year: 2014
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Cosmetics

Short description: Father and son joined to create a beauty business, founded on a traditional raw-material, the salt of Aveiro. The business was born when the father, Carlos Castro, decided to create some “consumables” for his wife´s hairdresser, with the purpose of adding value to the existing services. This way, they were created the exfoliant, the manicure cream and the pedicure bath salts. When the son of Carlos Castro finished the master's degree in Marketing Management in 2012, he joined the project and they created a company specialized in the production of certified quality natural and handcrafted products, available at affordable prices and based in the recovery of old recipes and re-launch of memories.

Case study 10: Rosabengala

Plaster modelling and illustration
Organization: Rosabengala
Country: Portugal
City: Aveiro
Foundation year: 2005
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Plaster modelling and illustration
Short description: Sónia Machado is an architect. As she had few projects as architect, she decided to explore her artistic facet and in 2005 she opened a children’s decoration store called Rosabengala. However, Sónia realizes that having to manage the store and painting the furniture was taking too much time and she had no time to do the creative work. Two years later, when she was mother for the second time, she decided to close the store in order to be able to spend more time with her children and to do some creative work. Currently, Rosabengala is known by the plaster modelling work, using plaster as the main raw material.

Case study 11: Centro Cerámica Talavera

Artisan Pottery
Organization: Centro Cerámica Talavera
Country: Spain
City: Toledo
Foundation year: 1992
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Artisan Pottery
Short description: The Centro Cerámica Talavera is an artisan pottery Workshop that since 1992 has specialized in producing ceramic pieces rooted in the tradition of Talavera de la Reina. In 2012 a new piece, a cutting edge product, has been created by the ceramists Ana Fernández-Pecci, Ramon Gonzalez and Juan Carlos Albarran Tailpiece to confront the economic crisis in the sector – a pottery skull. They designed, modelled and painted it with twenty different models and, before exposing the piece in the workshop they show their skulls on social networks. The skull iconography posed by the centre is ground-breaking. Some customers ordered these pieces because they have seen them in the networks, probably they would never acquire craft but want to have a “customized skull”.

Case study 12: Cerabella

Organisation: Cerabella
Country: Spain
City: Barcelona
Foundation year: 1862
Craft sector/subsector/activity: Chandlery
Short description: Cerabella is a company dedicated to the production and commercialization of handmade candles and its origin date back to 1862 when the owner Francisca Abella opened her first workshop. Initially, its production was oriented towards products of ecclesiastical use and basic consumption that supplied the lack of electricity. Later, the fourth generation of the family initiated the modernization process and started researching in the decorative possibilities of candles beyond mere functional use. Thus, it began diversifying its production by adding the decorative candles to its traditional product. The candles manually go through different washes for texture or colour effects and the process may involve from hours to a whole day for a single candle.

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