Joining technology is fundamental to engineering and manufacturing. It includes numerous processes: welding, brazing, soldering, adhesive bonding and mechanical fastening. It is important in the production of automobiles or aircraft that are made with advanced metallic and high-performance structural materials such as advanced steels, non-ferrous materials and composites. The primary objective of the EU-funded 'International conference on advanced metallic materials and their joining' (Matjoinconf) project was to organise a conference in Bratislava, Slovakia on the subject of joining advanced materials. The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) initiative was a Specific Support Action for the sub-programme area of 'New knowledge-based higher-performance materials for macro-scale applications'. The Matjoinconf project also aimed to increase the participation in FP6 of research organisations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from candidate countries and new Member States. The conference set out to get researchers and industry representatives from both country groups involved. It provided a forum for personal meetings, new contacts and the exchange of the most recent knowledge between them. The participants also had an opportunity to discuss and present their ideas for submitting new project proposals for FP6. In addition, Matjoinconf held a series of specialised sessions and workshops. The 3-day conference was carried out successfully with some 143 participants from 14 European countries as well as Japan attending the sessions and workshops. Potential benefits from such an event included proposals for new research projects within FP6 made by consortia of researchers including both associated candidate countries and new Member States.