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Press release - Details

Successful PPE Conference in Brussels - 1-2 February 2011

Large-scale conference in Brussels promotes user-driven innovation in the European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) market.

- Press Release -

Successful PPE Conference in Brussels


Large-scale conference in Brussels promotes user-driven innovation in the European Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) market.

Brussels, 3 February 2011

220 participants from 24 countries representing the entire PPE value chain, end users and public authorities attended the PPE Conference 2011 which took place on 1-2 February in Brussels. The Conference showcased the activities of the European Lead Market for Protective Textilesexploring the evolving needs of end users, emerging technology and innovation trends as well as business developments in the European and global markets for Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment. The event was co-organised by:

- EURATEX – the European Apparel and Textile Confederation

- ETSA – the European Textile Services Association

- ESF – the European Safety Federation.

The European Lead Market Initiative for Protective Textiles was initiated in 2008 by the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing as part of the European Commission’s new Innovation Policy focussing on the promotion of selected Lead Markets with exceptional potential for innovation and growth. The initiative was later joined by the European Technology Platform on Industrial Safety (ETPIS).

Key topics of the Lead Market policy include (1) regulation & standardisation , (2) public procurement, (3) research, development & innovation and (4) end user & global market trends. Major developments in all these 4 domains were presented by eminent speakers and extensively discussed by conference participants during interactive sessions.

Dick Hendriks, Chairman of the European Textile Technology Platform summarised the conference discussions in his concluding speech expressing

-         his firm belief in regulation and standardisation as strong drivers for innovation and market growth, provided rules and norms are effectively enforced,

-         the significant potential of public procurement as a tool to stimulate and reward industrial innovation,

-         the need to bring research results faster to market through stronger collaboration between researchers, the PPE value chain, buyers and end users,

-         the need to better educate end users about benefits and the correct use and servicing of PPE as well as the importance of removing market access barriers in key global growth markets.

Hendriks stated “We have come a long way since the start of this initiative and its first conference in 2008 in the Netherlands. With the elements from this second conference we will now shortly propose an action plan of concrete projects across all our key areas that will really make a difference in the PPE market and should over time reward companies that are committed to quality, innovation and reliable service to their end users. We look forward to collaborate even closer with all key stakeholder organisations and especially the European Commission.”

The conference proceedings including the proposed action plan are currently under preparation and will be published shortly together with key conference presentation material at the conference website .

Contacts for further information:

Lutz Walter, Euratex                Robert Long, ETSA     Henk Vanhoutte, ESF

Phone +32 2 85 48 85             +32 2 282 09 90         +32 56 70 11 03

e-mail:          r.long(at)     henk.vanhoutte(at)


For picture material, please contact:

Paulette De Wilde, Euratex

Ph. +32 2 285 48 83