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In a move intended to increase Outlast’s presence in Europe, Outlast Technologies, Inc. USA and CF Ploucquet GmbH Germany have inked an agreement to launch a joint venture company, Outlast Europe GmbH. The new company, based in Heidenheim, Germany, will market and sell all Outlast products throughout Europe. CF Ploucquet has been Outlast’s European partner for more than five years producing coated and laminated phase change materials for various applications. “By creating this joint venture, we now have a sales team in place that will cover more then 15 countries throughout Europe, reinforcing our activities in the apparel, footwear, home furnishing, uniform, workwear and medical markets,” said Dirk Keunen, European Sales and Marketing Manager for Outlast. Additionally, Outlast expects the joint venture to provide increased emphasis on research and development as Outlast leans on Ploucquet’s textile expertise. SNEWS® View: All well and good, but does this mean someone is now actually going to be able to explain to the trade and then to the consumers what in the heck phase change really means? We hope so, because it is still a product category that retailers — you know, the ones actually trying to sell the product? — can’t get their arms around in terms of understanding. And until retailers begin to understand what it will and won’t do, what hope do consumers have? Exactly!