Inditex and MIT sign agreement to promote research into sustainability and data analysis applied to business

by Textile Quotient News Desk
23 Mar 2019
  • The presidents of Inditex and MIT endorsed agreement at MIT’s campus in Cambridge, MA (U.S.)
  • Inditex to contribute over $4 million to multi-year research projects
  • Inditex to set up two data analysis fellowships with MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Renews annual scholarship program for MIT students at Inditex
  • Launches new round of MIT-Spain INDITEX Sustainability Seed fund for Spanish universities to research pioneering textile recycling methods and new applied sustainability technologies with MIT

Pablo Isla, Chairman and CEO of Inditex, and Rafael Reif, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), finalized a $4 million multi-year agreement for the joint pursuit of technological research initiatives. As part of the agreement, signed at the prestigious U.S. University’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Inditex will fund MIT research initiatives relating to the circular economy and new technology associated with sustainability and the recycling of textile materials, in addition to new lines of research related to data analysis.

The agreement further solidifies Inditex and MIT’s shared commitment to innovation and education following previous joint research projects focused on logistics technology, sustainability, and operations engineering.

The agreement will focus on four key areas: 

1 Support for MIT research with the creation of two new Inditex fellowships in sustainability and operations: The Inditex Materials Science and Engineering Fellowship Fund within the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering will receive $1 million from Inditex to promote research into the areas of sustainability, logistics, and supply chain management. The aim of this fellowship is to pursue pioneering initiatives in the circular economy and in the application of advanced sustainability techniques within the textiles industry.

The Inditex Operations Research and Management Fellowship Fund within the MIT Sloan School of Management will receive $1 million in funding from Inditex to Foster research and innovation in data analysis and prescriptive and predictive models applied to the textiles industry.

2 Inditex will also join the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society to further research in areas such as artificial intelligence, automated learning, and data science with a multi-year contribution of $1.2 million.

3 Renewal of the Leaders for Global Operations Master (LGO), Inditex’s scholarship program for MIT students, backed by the MIT School of Engineering and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The program fosters the enhancement of technical and management skills through personalized and supervised educational experiences at Inditex’s headquarters in Arteixo, Spain.

4 Launch of a new round of the MIT-Spain INDITEX Sustainability Seed fund for the promotion of research initiatives between faculty members and students from MIT and their peers at universities and research institutions in Spain. The fund focuses on areas such as new textile recycling techniques and the creation of new fibers using sustainable technology, and is endowed with $450,000 over three-years.

During the first round of the MIT-Spain INDITEX Sustainability Seed fund, pioneering projects regarding the separation of the subsequent recycling of fibers were selected from the universities of Vigo, Granada, the Basque region, and the Polytechnic School of Valencia. The new round of seed funding will select five new research initiatives that align with Inditex’s Global Sustainability Strategy with the aim of identifying innovative solutions in areas such as upcycling, recycling, ecological fabrics, clean energies, and manufacturing and logistics eco-efficiency, among others.

Global research projects

The collaboration agreement between Inditex and MIT is part of Inditex’s commitment to research and innovation as a driver of global progress. Inditex has a strong track record of collaboration with universities and other education institutions to share knowledge and better embed technological innovation into all aspects of its business.

In addition to its agreement with MIT, Inditex is currently actively involved in educational projects with the University of La Coruña, University of Santiago de Compostela, University Pontificia de Comillas.

Source: Inditex Headquarters- Arteixo, A Coruña – Spain

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