The bodies representing Europe's textile and clothing industry and its textile machinery manufacturers have agreed to work together on research and development, as well as building the sectors' profile with policy makers.

Signing a deal in Brussels yesterday (9 December), the presidents of Euratex and Cematex stressed the importance of research and innovation in helping the sector maintain a competitive global advantage.

"The European textile and clothing industry will not stop in its relentless efforts to innovate in its products and processes to always remain one step ahead of our global competition," noted Euratex president Dr Peter Pfneisl. "These innovations are unthinkable without the right machines and equipment with the right functionalities and capacities, available at the right time."

Cematex president Steve Combes added: "We are all familiar with the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. We believe that Euratex and Cematex, pooling our talents and abilities towards a common purpose, will accomplish more than continuing to work independently."

One of the first planned joined activities will be the organisation of a European Textile Research Pavilion at the ITMA Fair next September in Barcelona.