|The Enprotex Project|
In December 2007 the European Commission presented a Lead Market Initiative in order to stimulate the demand for innovative products and services particularly through public procurement which was identified as a major policy instrument for such stimulation. Six potential lead markets were identified one of which was protective textiles.
Subsequently in May 2008, and led by Directorate General Unit Enterprise and Industry, the Commission published a consultation document investigating the role, objectives, scope and activities of future public procurement networks that could be financially supported by the Commission. Based on the reactions of a wide community of industry, research and representative organizations, the outcome of the consultation was translated in their Call for Proposals.
The objective of the activities funded by the call was to support the establishment of public procurers networks in purchasing new and improved solutions, products and services in five specific lead market areas. Protective textiles was one of the selected lead markets. One of the reasons to select protective textiles was the observation that the European textile industry was heavily investing in the development of advanced protective textiles and due to labour regulations it was expected that the use of protective textiles would increase over the next decade.
Firebuy, the Dutch National Disaster Response Agency (LFR) and the Belgium Ministry of the interior (IBZ) joined to form a consortium to cooporate in formulating a bid in the field of the procurement of protective Textiles. In early September 2009 the Commission announced that the partners had been successful in its bid and that the proposed three year project would be fully funded as detailed in the bid proposal. The project title was agreed as ENPROTEX, which stands for: European Network for the Public Procurement of Protective Textiles.
See the link for a video message about Enprotex.