After the summer break, the third year activities resumed on 5 September with a Project Team briefing with a view of planning a preliminary work schedule for the upcoming events and activities. On the one hand, the choice of deferring the inaugural Conference (Event Nr 1) was confirmed also for the third year of the project, taking into account the positive outcomes achieved by the second year’s Conference that took place in March 2017. Therefore, the approximate timeframe for the event was scheduled in late February/early March 2018 and the final date is going to be set at a later stage. On the other hand, the Team shared some ideas about possible overarching themes on which to develop the third year’s activities, following the satisfactory experience of the previous year that focused on the digital transformation in the fashion industry. In this regard, Cinzia proposed to launch a Call for Topics on both the social network accounts and the website in order to promote the project on a larger scale and to reach a wider audience. The Call opened on 15 September and was due to close on 30 October. The Team has regularly monitored the submitted proposals.
As far as the internship opportunities offered to selected Summer School attendees are concerned, during the first week of the month Prof Baruffi contacted the Human Resources Offices of the law firm KPMG Tax & Legal for an update. Five applications had been submitted after the course (all applicants were trainee lawyers) and the internship provider directly carried out the recruiting procedures.
Moreover, Prof Baruffi got in touch with the former Summer School attendee and intern at KPMG who was subsequently offered a permanent position in the law firm, asking her whether she would be interested in sharing her experience during the presentation of the project Univr Fashion Week and in particular of the Summer School organised as part of the activities of ‘Univerò’ (the job fair managed by the University of Verona and ESU). She had gladly accepted the proposal and the presentation took place on the following 26 October. Several students and recently graduates attended and showed interest in the Summer School and its related activities.
As for the updated version of the 2017 special edition of the e-journal Papers di diritto europeo, Diletta sent an e-mail reminder to the Teaching Staff members concerned. After having received the new papers, Diletta and Marta carried out the review according to the editing criteria under the supervision of Prof Baruffi. The updated issue was then published by Isolde and is available both on the project website (on the specific section dedicated to the project’s scientific activities) and the e-journal webpage.
Thanks to the expertise and the network established through the implementation of this project, Prof Baruffi (in her capacity as representative of the University of Verona) became involved in a partnership with other universities of the Veneto Region and fashion companies aimed at developing a new project on product traceability in the context of the Regional Innovation Network ‘Face Design’ falling within the Smart Specialisation Strategies promoted by the Region with the support of the European funds. She was assisted by Cinzia throughout the whole process of submitting the project proposal. This further form of cooperation represents a significant outcome of the synergies established between businesses, professional associations and higher education institutions in the fashion industry and attests a valuable long-term impact of the UnivrFW project even beyond its initial expectations.
The update of social media accounts was taken care of by Cinzia, who posted new contents on the project and its activities, while Diletta took care of updating the project results on the Erasmus+ participant portal.
After the Call for Topics had closed, the Team gathered to discuss the submitted proposals. Some of them actually suggested to further deepen topics that were already dealt with during the previous years, such as IPRs and competition law, while others came up with new aspects related to the fashion industry. Among the latter topics, sustainability in its manifold implications (just to name a few: green economy, consumers’ and workers’ protection, efficiency of manufacturing processes) appeared worth of further consideration and was thus selected as the focus of the project’s third year. Also, the date of the inaugural Conference was set on 2 March 2018. Prof Baruffi duly informed the University administrative offices and the Law Department’s Main Hall has been reserved for that day. In addition, some first contacts with stakeholders, start up companies, academics and legal practitioners have been established in order to draw up a draft program of the event.
The Module Leader Caterina started planning the Summer School-related activities. She reviewed the results of the evaluation questionnaires concerning both the lecturers and the subjects of their lectures submitted to the attendees of the second year’s course and also considered potential adjustments to the third year’s program in light of the new overarching theme on sustainability. She later discussed these provisional proposals with the whole Team and identified a number of academics and practitioners who could be added to the Teaching Staff.
With a view of planning ahead for the final reporting activities that are due at the end of the project, Cinzia (with the support of the University administrative offices) started collecting the relevant data regarding the expenditures incurred in the first two years of implementation. After a careful assessment of the available information, she drafted a provisional financial report for internal use, which will prove very useful in planning the upcoming activities and then filling out the final official documents.
The organisational activities for the upcoming Conference have been carried out also during the month of December, particularly by Prof Baruffi and Isolde.
Prof Baruffi contacted the Director of Consorzio della Moda, Ms Anna Caprara, to involve her within the organisation of the forthcoming event and in other project activities for the third year, following the fruitful cooperation already established in the previous years, also regarding further steps to be taken for the implementation of the Regional Innovation Network ‘Face Design’.
Marta drafted the issue n. 4/2017 of the Newsletter, which provides a review of the second year’s main activities (the Conference and the Summer School) and some glimpses into what is new as to the upcoming activities. Cinzia reviewed the issue and then Marta uploaded it on the project website on 22 December.
Diletta drafted the Report on the activities from September to December 2017, which was discussed and reviewed by the whole Team before the upload on the website on 22 December.
Verona, December 2017