Keywords: Textile and Clothing Industry; Business Model; Open Innovation; Patenting.
Firms in the textile and clothing industry are generally considered as «suppliers dominated » for their innovation model, being characterized by low investment in R&S and little capabilities for autonomous innovation. As a result, technological innovation is not considered a key competitive factor. This situation is supposed to rapidly changing as a result of the increasing relevance of the so-called transversal technologies, such as ict, and the diffusion of open innovation models. The main aim of this paper is to analyze the characteristics and changes in the innovation model of EU firms in the textile and clothing industry over the last two decades. Empirical results reveal that in general firms remain characterized by a low intensity of innovation and patenting activity. However, the patenting and co-patenting activity of firms and the technological span of patents have significantly increased during the last decade, suggesting significant changes in their innovation model. Moreover, the innovation activity is highly concentrated in specific areas within the EU.