Sustainability Revolution in Fashion & Textiles  


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has a vision of producing competitive materials better than nature using the power of biotechnology. The call for innovation that we have published on behalf of VTT has said:

“We call for joint material development for co-creation of prototypes and a plan of scaling to market in the future. There are two main challenge streams you can support today: protein-based fibers and mycelium leather. For these projects, VTT brings top scientists and technology experts in biotechnology to work with the external partners.”

Our Approach

Together with the VTT team, we clarified the structure of the project and its aim. VTT was aiming at finding partners for joint material development for co-creation of prototypes and a plan of scaling to market in the future. The objective of the project was to meet the most promising actors in the field and initiate conversations about possible joint projects.

The objectives for VTT were twofold: the researchers wanted to meet innovators who are active in the fashion industry and learn from them, while at the same time there was a high interest to see innovative solutions that are at the forefront of the tech and are only aiming to disrupt the market. 

We have helped VTT team to identify two main challenge streams that innovators could support: protein-based fibers and mycelium leather. We have made sure to compose a clear offer for the call applicants, promising access to the ecosystem, partnership for funding call, and visibility in the joint promotion. You can see the public call that has been the project introduction for the external ecosystem.

On top of compiling the call attractive to future innovators, Vertical suggested engaging Synbio Powerhouse in this call as a co-pilot for startup reviews, in order to provide the startups with additional motivation in partnering for research.


VTT experts have kicked-off partnership negotiations with 10 companies in circular fashion and alternative leather technologies.

VTT and SynBio Powerhouse have added teams that they have met into their immediate ecosystem. Several teams have expanded their collaboration with VTT in the state-funded initiatives like WaWe, and some team will apply with VTT for extended research and development funding.

“It was really exciting to sit at the table with many important players of the fashion industry, a business I did not understand very well before. An extraordinary outcome!”

Marco Casteleijn
Senior Scientist at VTT
Project Manager for Protein-based Fiber



relevant to cancer treatment solutions were reached by Vertical



 have come into a partnership pipeline


kick-off meetings

took place in between VTT and the startups


Sasha Kazantsev was the Project Lead for this project.
If you are interested to hear more about the project, don’t hesitate to contact me:

+358 45 878 7079

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