Open for Business

TCBL is building a global community open to anyone interested in innovating business systems to build a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous production ecosystem in Europe and throughout the world. We know that when it comes to launching business ideas and concepts to the market, you have to pick your partners and close the door. But we also know that we can all benefit if the kind of research and exploration that gives birth to new business concepts happens in an open environment that freely explores new materials, technologies, designs, and ways to organize labour. In addition, we hold that being honest and fair to customers and addressing challenges such as environmental sustainability and the dignity of work is key to thriving in today's market.

The TCBL Community is built on a set of 7 principles that we have identified to capture these shared values:




Creative exploration of new paths, roles, social constructs and business models. Learning-driven action research as a way of life, including learning by errors and mistakes. Learning as both an individual and collective endeavour...


Things should stand on their own feet, but can do so by equally increasing the prosperity of businesses and the well being of communities; this is our ultimate goal. Importance of both monetary and non-monetary transactions...


Commitment to the environment, towards circular economy and zero km. Above all, reduce consumption and a consumption-driven culture, work towards sustainable fashion. Reduce waste, design for durable relationships …


Value of different cultures, traditions, opinions. Roles for both professionals and amateurs, different labor specializations. Designing for diversity of needs and tastes. Allowing for multiple business models to co-exist …


Trusting others by sharing of resources and information. Search for common processes, platforms and standards: interoperability. Participatory decision-making, using social media, connecting with others. Transparency in business practice (sourcing, pricing)…


Protection of privacy, authorship, and IP. Dignity of the individual, power of social knowledge. Value of place and territories. Caring for things, establishing emotional links with the clothes we wear …


Commitment to reliable, trustworthy, professional behavior. Accountability for the consequences of our actions. Responsible design, responsible production, responsible selling, responsible consumption …

Join the Community!

Becoming part of the TCBL Community is easy; if you haven't already done so, you must first register yourself and/or your company right here. As a registered member of the TCBL Community, you receive regular email updates of activities within the TCBL website, and can join the on-going discussions throughout the website.


Once your membership has been approved, look for the "+" sign anywhere on a web page (for instance in the Forum section in any of the groups), to start your own discussion! You can even start your own working group in the Groups section (it must first be approved) to work on a T&C innovation project or scenario with other community members. If you start your own group, you can design the functions and pages, decide how public or private your activity will be, and invite other community members to join. Get started today by joining up, and feel free to browse around and discover the groups you'd like to work with!

Join the Ecosystem!

TCBL is an open ecosystem, extending beyond the EU project partnership to include new participants through the TCBL Associates Programme. The TCBL Associates Programme gradually extends the interacting components of the business ecosystem – the creative Business Labs, T&C Enterprises participating in new value chains, Advisors supporting value chain formation, and the mainly ICT based Business Services – through yearly Calls for Expressions of Interest. There are distinct Calls for each of the types of Associates, as follows:

Associate Type

Brief Characterisation

Associate Labs

The Associate Labs include the three typologies of Design, Making, and Place Labs as well as possible extensions in scope and sector.

Associate Enterprises

Associate Enterprises include both the Workshops and Factories supported by project partners as they build Business Pilots.

Associate Advisors

This includes consultants, associations, agencies, etc. providing tecnhical support to value chain formation.

Associate Services

Additional providers of services can enhance the TCBL service platforms  and Knowledge Spaces.

Associates joining the TCBL ecosystem do not receive funding as such, but rather access to specific TCBL services as well as the TCBL label. The 2016 Call selected:

  • 18 Associate Labs
  • 28 Associate Advisors
  • 78 Associate Enterprises

The 2017 Call for Expressions of Interest is now open for Associate Enterprises (click here for more information), while prospective Labs can begin their application process at any time through the labs platform (click here).

In addition, the 2017 Call for Startups has also been launched. For more information, visit the Startups page (click here).

Stay tuned for further information and updates!