An international consortium organises a series of events in Venice, Italy, to innovateand shape the future of European craft sectors


Venice, Italy – [May 19, 2023] – HEPHÆSTUS, a four-year project funded by the European Commission, is scheduled to launch in Venice and Bassano del Grappa on May 26th and 27th, 2023. The event will be hosted by the partner Ca’ Foscari University, in collaboration with a consortium of nine European partners including Copenhagen Business School, University of Gothenburg, IT-Universitetet i København, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Bornholms Regionskommune, Fablab Venezia, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Comune di Bassano del Grappa, Wit Berry, and four associated partners: Frodskaparsetur Foroya, Confartigianato Venezia, Confartigianato Vicenza, and CNA Veneto Ovest.

HEPHÆSTUS responds to the most pressing challenges that craft sectors are confronted with such as declining interest among younger generations, contemplative craft education, shrinking craft clusters, and the challenges of globalization and evolving consumer culture. Additionally, the increasing use of advanced digital technologies in manufacturing poses productivity and competitiveness challenges for traditional craft-makers, who often lack the necessary support and training. To address these concerns, HEPHÆSTUS brings together a diverse group of scholars in management, organization and design in a consortium with local governments and craft associations across Europe. This collaborative effort aims to explore the intersection of management, design, technologies, and creative manufacturing, with the goal of enhancing the role of traditional crafts in contemporary societies. This collaborative effort aims to foster inclusive growth, job creation, social cohesion, and diversity.

HEPHÆSTUS aims to rethink European craft ecosystems, rendering them socially, culturally, environmentally, and economically sustainable. By focusing on five regional ecosystems renowned for their rich craft traditions – Dals Långed, Venice, Bornholm, Bassano del Grappa territory, and the Faroe Islands – the project will develop innovative business models for craft-makers and provide valuable insights to policymakers.

HEPHÆSTUS is committed to driving change, inspiring innovation, and shaping the future of European craft sectors. Through the dissemination of toolkits, scorecards, and methods via reports, training events, and workshops, this project aims to empower craft-makers and contribute to a more sustainable and vibrant future.

To celebrate the launch of HEPHÆSTUS, a series of events of significance will take place in the Veneto Region. On May 26th, a trans-disciplinary academic workshop will be held at Ca’ Foscari University, School of Management, San Giobbe campus in Venice. This academic gathering will bring together leading scholars who will explore the manifold relationships between craft businesses, society, and sustainability.

On May 27th, the Civic Museum of Bassano del Grappa will host a presentation by craft-makers, presenting their ecosystems and initiating a dialogue with policymakers. This event will also showcase HEPHÆSTUS’s unique approach, which integrates artistic perspectives and in-depth social and organizational investigations. The exhibition “Atmospheres of Craft” by the art collective D20 Art Lab will unveil captivating images, sounds, and objects that embody the unifying “spirit of the place” – the Genius Loci – that nurtures craft.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Prof. Fabrizio Panozzo

+39 3498 7991409

Funded by EU

HEPHAESTUS project ID 101095123 is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


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