Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Official Journal Reference

L 79/ of 2002-03-22

Legislative Reference

2002/234/ECSC of 2002-02-27
To support the competitiveness of the Community sectors related to the coal and steel industry. The programme shall be consistent with the scientific, technological and political objectives of the European Union, and shall complement the activities carried out in the Member States and within the existing Community research programmes,


The Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) expires 23 July 2002, and the ownership of the ECSC funds will revert to the Member States. The Member States will transfer the ECSC funds to the European Community to create a common fund dedicated for research in the coal and steel area. The reserves will be used to fund this programme. The programme shall provide financial assistance for allowable projects, accompanying measures and other actions by promoting cooperation between undertakings, research centres and universities. The programme shall cover production processes, utilisation, conservation of resources, environmental improvements and safety at work in sectors related to the coal and steel industry.

_ Participation of Member States
Undertakings, research institutes or natural persons established within the territory of a Member State may participate in the programme and apply for financial assistance, provided that they intend to carry out an RTD activity or can substantially contribute to such an activity.

_ Participation of Applicant States
Undertakings, research institutes or natural persons in applicant States shall be entitled to participate without receiving any financial contribution under the programme, unless otherwise provided under the relevant European Agreements and their additional Protocols, and in the decisions of the various Association Councils.

_ Participation of Third countries
Undertakings, research institutes or natural persons from third countries shall be entitled to participate on the basis of individual projects without receiving any financial contribution under the programme, provided that such participation is in the interest of the Community.

_ Definition of the term coal
- Hard coal;
- Hard coal briquette;
- Coke and semi-coke derived from hard coal;
- Lignite;
- Lignite briquettes;
- Coke and semi-coke derived from lignite.

_ Definition of the terms iron and steel
- Raw materials for iron and steel production, such as iron ore, sponge iron and ferrous scrap; - Pig iron (including hot metal) and ferro-alloys; - Crude and semi-finished products of iron, ordinary steel or special steel (including products for re-use and re-rolling), such as liquid steel cast by continuous casting or otherwise, and semi-finished products such as blooms, billets, bars, slabs and strips; - Hot finished products of iron, ordinary steel or special steel (coated or uncoated products, excluding steel castings, forgings and powder metallurgy products), such as rails, sheet piling, structural shapes, bars, wire rods, plates and universal plates, strips and sheets, and tube rounds and squares; - End products of iron, ordinary steel or special steel (coated or uncoated), such as cold-rolled strips and sheets and electrical sheets; - Products of the first-stage processing of steel that can enhance the competitive position of the above iron and steel products, such as tubular products, drawn and polished products, cold-rolled and cold-formed products.


Research, pilot and demonstration projects, accompanying measures and support and preparatory actions may all be financed under the programme.

_ A research project - intended to cover investigative or experimental work with the aim of acquiring further knowledge to facilitate the attainment of specific practical objectives such as the creation or development of products, production processes or services.

_ A pilot project - characterised by the construction, operation and development of an installation or a significant part of an installation on an appropriate scale and using suitably large components with a view to examining the potential for putting theoretical or laboratory results into practice and/or increasing the reliability of the technical and economic data needed to progress to the demonstration stage, and in certain cases to the industrial and/or commercial stage.

A demonstration project - characterised by the construction and/or operation of an industrial-scale installation or a significant part of an industrial-scale installation with the aim of bringing together all the technical and economic data in order to proceed with the industrial and/or commercial exploitation of the technology at minimum risk.

_ Accompanying measures - relate to the promotion of the use of knowledge gained, the clustering of projects, the dissemination of results and support for the training and mobility of researchers in connection with projects funded under the programme.

_ Support and preparatory actions - those appropriate to the sound and effective management of the programme, such as the periodic monitoring and assessment referred to in point 4, studies or the networking of related projects funded under the programme.

The priority areas of this programme are as follows:
_ Improving the competitive position of Community coal
- Modern techniques for surveying deposits;
- Integrated mine planning;
- Highly efficient, largely automated excavation and mining technologies corresponding to the geological characteristics of European hard coal deposits;
- Appropriate support technologies;
- Transport systems;
- Power supply services, communication and information, transmission, monitoring and process control systems;
- Coal preparation techniques, oriented to the needs of the consumer markets;
- Coal conversion;
- Coal combustion.
Preference is given to projects that promote at least one of the following:
- Integration of individual techniques in systems and methods and the development of integrated mining methods;
- Substantial reduction of production costs;
- Benefits in terms of mine safety and the environment.

_ Health and Safety in mines

_ Efficient protection of the environment and improvement of the use of coal as a clean energy source
Preference is given to projects that envisage:
- A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, in particular methane, from coal deposits;
- The return to the mine of mining waste, fly ash and desulphurisation products, accompanied, where relevant, by other forms of waste;
- The refurbishment of waste heaps and the industrial use of residues from coal production and consumption;
- The protection of water tables and the purification of mine drainage water;
- A reduction in the environmental impact of installations which mainly use Community coal and lignite;
- The protection of surface installations against the effects of subsidence in the short and long term;
- A reduction in emissions from coal utilisation.

_ Management of external dependance on energy supply

_ New and improved steelmaking and finishing

Research projects should address the following areas:
- New and improved iron-ore reduction processes;
- Ironmaking processes and operations;
- Electric arc furnace processes;
- Steelmaking processes;
- Secondary metallurgy techniques;
- Continuous casting and near net shape casting techniques with and without direct rolling;
- Rolling, finishing and coating techniques;
- Hot and cold-rolling techniques, pickling and finishing processes;
- Process instrumentation, control and automation;
- Maintenance and reliability of production lines.

_ RTD and the utilisation of steel
. Research projects should address the following areas:
- New steel grades for demanding applications;
- Steel properties addressing mechanical properties at low and high temperatures such as strength and toughness, fatigue, wear, creep, corrosion and resistance against fracture;
- Prolonging service life, in particular by improving the resistance of steels and steel structures to heat and corrosion;
- Steel-containing composites and sandwich structures;
- Predictive simulation models on microstructures and mechanical properties;
- Structural safety and design methods, in particular with regard to resistance to fire and earthquakes;
- Technologies relating to the forming, welding and joining of steel and other materials;
- Standardisation of testing and evaluation methods.

_ Conservation of resources and improvement of working conditions
Research projects should address the following areas:
- Techniques for recycling obsolete steel from various sources and classification of steel scrap;
- Steel grades and design of assembled structures to facilitate the easy recovery of steel scrap and its reconversion into usable steels;
- Control and protection of the environment in and around the workplace;
- Restoration of steelwork sites;
- Improvement of working conditions and quality of life in the workplace;
- Ergonomic methods;
- Occupational health and safety;
- Reduction of exposure to occupational emissions.


The programme shall be managed by the Commission. The following committee and groups shall be established to assist the Commission:
- The Coal and Steel Committee;
- The Coal and Steel Advisory Groups;
- The Coal and Steel Technical Groups.

An open and continuous call for proposals is launched, with 15 September of each year being the cut-off date for the submission of proposals for evaluation, starting with the year 2002. The Commission shall establish and make public, including on the Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) or corresponding website, an information package providing proposers and interested parties with practical information on the programme, participation rules, methods of managing proposals and projects, application forms, rules for the submission of proposals, model contracts, allowable costs, the maximum financial contribution allowable and methods of payment. Applications must be submitted to the Commission in accordance with the rules laid down in the information package, of which a paper copy can be obtained from the Commission on request. The Commission shall ensure a confidential, fair and equitable evaluation of proposals. The Commission shall establish and publish a manual for the evaluation and selection of RTD actions.

Projects based on selected proposals and measures and actions shall form the subject of a contract. Contracts shall be based on relevant model contracts drawn up by the Commission, taking account, as appropriate, of the nature of the activities concerned. Contracts shall define the financial contribution allocated under the programme on the basis of the allowable costs, as well as the rules concerning cost reporting, the closure of accounts and audits. The programme shall be based on cost-sharing RTD contracts.

The Commission shall conduct an annual review of activities under the programme and the progress of the RTD work. The report containing that review shall be forwarded to the Committee. The programme shall be the subject of a monitoring exercise, including an assessment of the expected benefits. A report on that exercise shall be issued by the end of 2006, and thereafter every five years. These reports shall be forwarded to the European Parliament, the Council, the Committee and the Advisory Groups. An assessment of the programme shall be carried out on completion of the projects financed during every period of five years, with the first period ending in 2008. The benefits of the RTD to society and to the relevant sectors shall also be assessed. The assessment report shall be published. The Commission shall draw up the terms of reference for the monitoring exercise and the assessment; the Commission shall be assisted by the Committee. Both the monitoring and assessment shall be carried out by panels of highly qualified experts appointed by the Commission.

The Commission shall take the appropriate steps to ensure a smooth transition from the ECSC RTD programmes to the programme. ECSC contracts which are still running on expiry of the ECSC Treaty shall be managed by the Commission in accordance with their contractual obligations, with a view to harmonising the management of the ECSC contracts and the contracts under the programme.


The part of the Coal research programme is managed by DG Transport and Energy and the part of the Steel research programme by DG Research.
Record Number: 732 / Last updated on: 2002-06-04