NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) is the largest single endowment devoted exclusively to supporting talent, innovation and creativity in the UK. Its mission is to transform the UK’s capacity for innovation through investing in early stage companies, informing innovation policy and encouraging a culture that helps innovation to flourish.
Over recent years the CFE has developed a strong partnership with NESTA, providing support packages for several of NESTA’s Creative Pioneers in specialist fields like footwear, accessories and menswear.
The CFE has recently worked with NESTA to investigate particular segments of the UK’s Designer Fashion sector, exploring innovative models to increase the sector’s significant contribution to the British economy. The report is now one of the most cited publications for understanding high-end designer business models and their barriers and opportunities for growth.
Further work supported by NESTA has been the backing of the newly formed Alliance consortium between the CFE, BFC, London MAS, UKFT and Skillset, working together to deliver a strategy to support the UK’s high-end designer and manufacturing sectors. In support of this strategy, and funded by NESTA, the Alliance has also developed a series of Toolkits, designed to aid designers and manufacturers to improve their communications with each other, and launched a new free database of UK high-end manufacturers and suppliers.