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The Tanning Industry Challenge

Communicating responsible innovation in the Italian tanning industry for Design and Fashion
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Climate Action; Responsible Consumption and Production
Closed for application

About The Challenge 

The Leather tanning industry is often perceived as particularly resource intensive. In fact, in the last period and particularly in the last years it has steadily drawn inspiration from the UN sustainable development goals, which boosted its vision towards consistent investments in innovation, efficiency and sustainability. These efforts remain however far from social perception.

So, the call to ECIU students is to join us in the lion’s den and discover this intriguing Italian manufacturing industry which combines responsible innovation – despite general perception – with  worldwide recognized excellent quality.

Expected Impact

To improve perception on product and process, amend biased views and address misunderstandings about the Italian leather industry is definitely the challenge of our sector. Join us to find solutions to communicate responsible innovation in the Italian tanning industry for design and fashion.

What we are looking for are ideas and strategies to identify and spread a strong and effective message about the Italian leather and tanning industry. Specifically, we need to reach our most important target group (13-40-year-old people), make them aware about the excellence of our material and make them gain a new confidence on leather products and the whole leather sector.

That’s why we would like to engage university students to build a communication strategy focused on: 

1) leather as a material to convey a message of responsibility and trust

2) the value of the relation between industrial districts and civil society

3) product and process innovation for an effective management of the environmental impact

4) a new impulse and creative solutions to strengthen circularity in the sector.

Define a project (social media campaign, strategy to engage consumers or any other) for a better perception of the leather industry and its supply chain as a real powerful fact, enhancing leather’s characteristics as a natural material, considering new trends and needs of consumers, and facing misleading messages from the market, literature and shallow scientific journalism.

Learning Offering Details

Kick-off, company visit and first meeting are in presence in Trento. The rest of the challenge is online. ECIU students ask for funding information at their home University. 

Regarding mobility options, please consult your home university. You can find more information on the Practical information website or contact us via or

Application Deadline: 16th October 2022

How to apply: ECIU platform

Language requirement: English B2 Level, CEFR

Study Plan:

Expected Class composition: undergraduate, graduate students, researchers from all disciplines

Expected workload: 1,5 hours a day for 5 days a week for 5 weeks plus mentor meetings and presentations

Recongition: 4 ECTS

Learning goals: Understand social perception and match it against company/industry needs and goals; Communication skills: learn to engage your stakeholder; Work in teams; Apply creativity to generate smart ideas; Develop an actionable and sustainable action plan.