Innovation Working Group

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Innovation Working Group Background



FDRA has various working groups focused on specific issues and segments like footwear customs, product development, factory compliance, and sourcing. As the industry continues to innovate in dynamic ways and as new jobs are being created in the areas of technology, materials, advanced manufacturing and production, we feel the time is right to establish an FDRA Innovation Working Group. This working group will be THE conduit for footwear industry collaboration and information sharing on all things footwear innovation.

A sample of companies activly participating in this working group include Wolverine Worldwide, Caleres, Deckers, and Under Armour.



To be the footwear industry’s cooperative platform for footwear innovation – driving conversations, best practices and solutions to challenges.



To drive thought leadership and action on footwear innovation through networking, sharing ideas and best practices, and working together to address common business or regulatory/governmental challenges related to footwear innovation.

Specifically, this group will:

  • Guide FDRA as it establishes an online materials database for the industry.
  • Inform FDRA on materials training and expertise needs for the industry, and guide it as it develops training and consulting services.
  • Inform FDRA on innovation challenges related to the regulatory environment so that FDRA can educate U.S. officials and advocate on our members’ behalf.
  • Inform FDRA on what webinars, workshops, and networking events the industry needs to facilitate to exchange ideas and best practices.
  • Be the broad platform that helps inform service providers as to what the industry’s needs and develop programs or services to provide key solutions.
  • Be a discussion platform for the industry.

The group accomplishes its mission through:

  • Quarterly conference calls
  • Meetings, workshops, webinars, and site visits
  • Developing partnerships with material experts, robotics labs, advanced manufacturing consortiums, and centers of higher learning.
  • Engagement in Washington, DC and key innovation centers.