The European Commission has established an energy centre in Katowice, Poland, within the framework of the THERMIE programme. The Commission has already established 15 such energy centres in Eastern Europe. The energy centre at Katowice is specifically dedicated to solid fuels. Given that the centre is located in the most important coal producing region in Poland, this is of considerable importance. The centre will provide a full range of promotional activities covering innovative energy technology for combustion, gasification of coal and waste as well as conventional technologies. It will concentrate on building links with companies and professional associations involved in the solid fuels sector. A principal activity of the centre will be to foster business contacts between Western and Eastern European industries by encouraging joint venture partnerships and foreign investment in the area of efficient and clean energy technology.