The European Commission has published a communication requesting the Council's assent on the granting of financial aid for technical steel research projects and pilot/demonstration projects. The projects were selected from proposals submitted under the 1996 ECSC steel RTD programme. Priority was given to projects aimed at: - Improving the productivity and quality of steel products; - Developing uses for steel according to customers' requirements through product-oriented research; - Adapting production conditions to environmental requirements through the use of "clean technologies". A total aid amount of ECU 41,198,700 has been requested for the 66 projects selected from the 116 proposals submitted to the Commission for the technological steel research sector. The pilot/demonstration sector comprises 11 priority projects selected from 22 proposals received by the Commission. The total aid requested for these projects is ECU 11,205,350.