The Research Council met in Brussels on 10 March 1995 to discuss the means of improving the coordination of European Community RTD policies and programmes. After considering the present situation, the Council highlighted the following objectives: - In determining RTD policies, coordination will have to be based on a better use of existing structures, in particular the committees for each of the specific programmes under the Fourth Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration (1994-1998). With regard to the role of the Scientific and Technical Research Committee (CREST), the Council recognized that it will have an important role to play in contributing to the coordination of RTD activities conducted by both the Community and the Member States. In a separate discussion on CREST, the Council determined that certain operational aspects of the committee and the role exercised by its president remain to be defined; - At the level of implementing research actions, the role of the programme committees will grow in importance with the increasing emphasis on the coordination of cross-border programmes; - Greater coordination of the Member States' positions in the area of RTD in international forums. The Council invited the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) to examine these matters further in preparation for the next session, on the basis of the Commission communication on the coordination of RTD policies (COM(94) 438). The Council gave a negotiating mandate to the Commission for an international agreement in the field of Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS). Such an agreement would establish a framework and mechanism for planning and executing joint projects and accompanying actions in the field of IMS. The Community's particular objective will be to strengthen the scientific and technological basis of the Community's industry and to encourage it to become more competitive at the international level. The Community's negotiating position will take full account of the European Community's policies, in particular its RTD policy. Projects carried out under the IMS programme must have industrial relevance and must cover the full process of innovation. However, any financial participation from the Community will be restricted to the precompetitive part of the projects.