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Rhône-Alpes at the forefront of technical textiles in Europe


Through Espace Textile, the Rhône-Alpes Region of south-eastern France now supplies two essential, complementary purpose-designed tools — a directory and an interactive website — devoted entirely to high-technology technical textiles. The region is a magnet and recognised centre of excellence in this field, thanks to the diversity and performance of its manufacturers of advanced, high-quality textile products. The tools provided by Espace Textile will facilitate the sector’s growth and the involvement of non-French corporate and institutional players.

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Benefiting from the greatest concentration in Europe of businesses handling all aspects of the textile sector, the Rhône-Alpes Region now provides businesses with a Guide to Technical Textiles. This essential tool is in two complementary forms — a paper directory and a purpose-designed website.

Financed by central government and by the Rhône-Alpes regional authority, and designed and published by Espace Textile, the Directory of Rhône-Alpes Technical Textiles is an essential source of information on the businesses operating in the region. An ideal tool for professional users — be they opinion formers or buyers — it offers a synthesis of the sector’s main features across the Rhône-Alpes region and a complete set of 110 index cards on regional businesses specialising in technical textiles.

Simple, operational and handy to use, the indexes are arranged by activity and field of application. They allow rapid identification of the suppliers and potential partners that best match market requirements. Published in English and French, the Directory will also be distributed at the Techtextil Frankfurt world show in June 2005.

To complement the Directory, a dedicated website ( focuses directly on business development searches and issues. As an online database, it gives a functional, informative, interactive and prospective presentation of technical textiles in the Rhône-Alpes Region. Non-French businesses and clients can use an advanced search engine to make direct business and R&D contacts on the basis of their choices. The site carries a host of detailed practical information about markets, products, technologies, export zones, sales figures, R&D, etc.

Rhône-Alpes — a world-class leader in technical textiles

Rhône-Alpes has a long history of textile production and has been a leading centre for European textile manufacturing for centuries. The technical textiles sector is particularly strong across the region today, with 140 businesses covering all technical textiles markets and representing a total of about 10,000 jobs. Sales are of €2 billion, with 500,000 tons of technical textiles manufactured annually across the geographical area concerned. This amounts to a staggering 65% of France’s overall production of technical textiles, or 12.5% of Europe’s combined production. As such, the region is the world’s fourth-largest producer.

Manufacturing activities are underpinned by a tight network of 40 first-class public-sector research laboratories employing 600 scientists. With a truly unique concentration, at the heart of Europe, of companies manufacturing high-performance textiles, the region offers the most complete facilities on the continent for the finishing, coating and impregnation of technical textiles.
About the Rhône-Alpes Region

A leader in all categories of textiles for more than a century, the Rhône-Alpes Region has a clear objective — to stay in the lead and to add the textiles of the third millennium to its trophy board.

The region is an undisputed leading centre in Europe for textiles, with:

  • The greatest concentration in Europe of businesses covering all branches of the sector;
  • Businesses that are recognised internationally across a range of sectors, from health, sports and leisure to automotive, aeronautics and defence, as well as construction, public works and civil engineering;
  • A very buoyant environment for innovation, including training, R&D, monitoring, tests, and standards.

Philip Jolly | alfa
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