Brussels, Oct 2004
The 'Inneurotex' project, funded under the innovation and small and medium sized enterprises section of the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) has created an online marketplace for innovative textiles.
Innovative textiles ideas, services and products can be presented and promoted via the marketplace, as can expertise. Users can also express a requirement or conduct searches. The online service is intended to create opportunities for textile innovation across Europe in areas ranging from fashion apparel to household and technical textiles.
Access is free and open to all until 31 December 2004, after which access will be limited to Inneurotex members and those subscribing to the service.
The Inneurotex consortium aims to create a network for regional and national textile platforms involved in the following three fields:
- the incubation of new textile projects for commercialisation;
- the creation and coordination of clubs and clusters of industrialists to facilitate economic intelligence;
- the setting up of international projects.
The project is addressing two challenges identified by the consortium: increased competition from outside of the European Union and difficulties experienced by small and medium sized enterprises in introducing innovation to their development strategies.
From the beginning of 2005, all World Trade Organisation (WTO) quotas on textiles imports to the EU will be abolished, leading some to fear that the EU will experience a surge of imports, particularly from China. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said on 26 October that the Commission will closely monitor the situation over the first few months of 2005 in order to identify and respond to any serious market disruption. A number of proposals have been put forward to protect the European industry, including an import licensing system for certain textile and clothing products.
In 2002, the EU was the final destination for around 20 per cent of total world textile imports, second to the US, which took in 24 per cent.
For further information on Inneurotex, please visit: