European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Programme Category

Content archived on 2023-03-27

Article available in the following languages:


Specific programme (EEC) of research and technological development in the field of industrial and materials technologies, 1990-1994

Part of the third Framework programme for Community activities in the field of research and technological development (1990 to 1994) under subactivity I.2.: "Industrial and materials technologies", the programme builds on and extends work carried out under the 1989-1992 BRITE/EURAM programme and the 1990-1992 Raw Materials and Recycling programme.

Research work under the programme aims to consolidate and take further technological developments made within the Community, and to use resources more efficiently. A special effort will be made to help small and medium-sized enterprises to become more involved in transnational research, develop links with other undertakings and universities and manage their technical resources better.

The environmental aspects of products and processes and the working environment are included as strategic elements in all parts of the programme. This will require links with other programmes covering the environment, health, and measurement and testing to take account of advances in risk assessment and toxicology.

The activities will be coordinated with, inter alia, the computer-integrated production and micro-electronic materials areas in the specific programme in the field of information technologies (ESPRIT), the recycling area in the specific programme on the environment and the programmes on non-nuclear energies (JOULE) and measurement and testing.

The aeronautical technologies research that began with the 1989-1992 BRITE/EURAM programme will be continued, taking account of harmonization, standardization, safety and environmental aspects. Specific research and applications will be dealt with under Area 3 (Aeronautical research) whereas research of a generic nature will be dealt with under the other two programme areas.

The Joint Research Centre will contribute through its own programme to the implementation of activities in the field of industrial and materials technologies.
To contribute to the rejuvenation of European manufacturing industry by reinforcing its scientific and technological basis by means of research and development work, promoting in all Member States basic technical research, the integration of new technologies by user industries and the acquisition of the knowledge necessary for establishing standards and codes of good practice facilitating the transfer of these technologies.
Three areas:

- Materials - raw materials:
To contribute to improving the performance of materials at a cost which permits competitive industrial exploitation over a broad range of applications not restricted to a few high performance items. The accent is on the innovative use of industrial minerals and natural stone, metals and industrial materials, including prospecting, exploitation, recovery, transformation, production and recycling:
. Raw materials:
To improve existing processes and to master new and pre-competitive technologies;
. Recycling:
To reinforce the scope and effectiveness of recycling technologies;
. New and improved materials and their processing:
Developments in materials and their processing, including conventional mass commodity materials with enhanced properties and performance at a reasonable cost, advanced structural materials for high performance systems (i.e. metals, ceramics, polymers and their associate composites), advanced functional materials (such as conducting polymers, high performance magnets and novel electronic materials), surface engineering and joining technology;

- Design and manufacturing:
To improve the capability of industry to design and manufacture products which are, at the same time, of high quality, easy to maintain, highly competitive and environmentally and socially acceptable. Research will be directed to the application of advanced enabling disciplines such as physics and chemistry, mechanics, optics, acoustics, fluid dynamics, mathematical modelling and process engineering, and their integration into new technological developments such as optomatronics (optics, materials and electronics), mechatronics (mechanical engineering, computing and electronics), microtechnology and microstructural and nanostructural engineering, including molecular engineering:
. Design:
To address the impact on product performance, reduction of design time, manufacturing and life cycle costs;
. Manufacturing:
To address the use of efficient and cost effective manufacturing processes and to integrate other aspects including the design interface, quality control maintenance of facilities and the working environment;

- Aeronautics research:
To contribute to the reinforcement of the technology base of the European aeronautics industry; to enrich the knowledge base that supports actions to minimize the impact on the environment and to enhance the safety and efficiency of aircraft operations; and to promote further cooperation between large high-technology companies and smaller companies, SMEs and research institutions and universities throughout the Community;
. Environment and related technologies:
Focusing upon reduction of exterior and interior noise and upon reduction of exhaust emissions from aircraft;
. Technologies of aircraft operation
Focusing upon maintenance technologies, health and usage monitoring, crashworthiness, fire risk control and cockpit interfaces to the air traffic control system;
. Aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics:
Focusing upon computational fluid dynamics (CFD), techniques of drag reduction by laminar flow for subsonic and supersonic transport, propulsion integration and the internal aerothermodynamics of turbo-machinery;
. Aeronautical structures and manufacturing technologies:
Focusing upon structural and materials application techniques relevant to primary aircraft structures and highly loaded high-temperature components and upon manufacturing processes particular to aeronautical applications;
. Avionics system technologies:
Focusing upon techniques for design, integration and evaluation of high integrity avionics systems, particular techniques for sensing, monitoring and control of air vehicle systems, problems of man-machine interaction and flight-deck performance optimization;
. Mechanical, utility and actuation technologies:
Focusing upon particular techniques for optimization and the exploitation of new technology in aircraft mechanical systems, aircraft utility systems and in aircraft actuation subsystems.
The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by a committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission.

The programme comprises research and technological development (RTD) projects, cooperative research projects, accompanying measures (including feasibility premiums) and concerted actions.

The projects are the subject of shared-cost contracts, with Community financial participation not normally exceeding 50%. Universities and other research centres have the option of requesting, for each project, either 50% funding of total expenditure or 100% funding of the additional marginal costs. Contracts relating to shared-cost research projects must as a general rule be concluded following a selection procedure based on calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Projects must, as a general rule, provide for the participation of at least two partners, each independent of the other, established in different Member States. These two partners will normally be industrial firms except in the case of projects in the field of basic research. Where basic research is undertaken by a group consisting solely of research centres and universities, industrial support will be sought.

Cooperative research projects are intended for a group of undertakings, in particular SMEs, which do not have their own research facilities, in order to resolve common technical problems. One or more outside organizations (research associations, universities or undertakings) will be appointed to carry out the research. 50% of the research costs of these projects will be covered for a period normally not exceeding two years. These projects must be submitted by undertakings which are to take part in planning and piloting the research and implementing the results.

The accompanying measures consist of:
- The organization of seminars, workshops and scientific conferences;
- Internal coordination through the creation of integrating groups;
- Specialized training programmes, with emphasis being placed on multidisciplinarity;
- An information exchange system;
- Promotion of the exploitation of results;
- Independent scientific and strategic evaluation of the operation of the projects and the programme.

Feasibility premiums are subsidies of up to ECU 30,000, covering up to 75% of research lasting a maximum of nine months and intended to determine the feasibility of an innovative device, concept or process. Such premiums are reserved for independent, technologically based SMEs established within the Community. Their purpose is to help SMEs to demonstrate their capacities to potential partners in future proposals for collaboration. The results of such research should become the basis for an SME's participation in an association seeking finance for an applied industrial research proposal under the programme.

Concerted actions consist of action by the Community to coordinate the individual research activities carried out in the Member States. They may benefit from funding of up to 100% of coordinating expenditure.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate, in accordance with Article 130n of the Treaty, international agreements with third countries which are members of COST, in particular the member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Central and Eastern European countries, with a view to associating them with the whole programme or a part of it. Where framework agreements for scientific and technical cooperation have been concluded between the Community and European non-Member States, bodies and enterprises established in those countries may, on the basis of the criterion of mutual benefit, be allowed to become partners in a project undertaken within the programme.

No contracting body based outside the Community and participating as a partner in a project undertaken within the programme may benefit from Community financing for this programme. Such bodies shall contribute to the general administrative costs.

The Community funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the programme amount to ECU 770 million, of which a sum amounting to 1% of the budget is earmarked as the contribution from the programme to the centralized scheme for the dissemination and exploitation of results. 10% of the total will be allocated to basic research and 2% to training. An additional amount of ECU 78 million will be allocated to Joint Research Centre (JRC) research in the field of materials and raw materials, including an amount of ECU 0.78 million representing the JRC contribution to the centralized scheme.

The knowledge acquired in the course of the projects will be disseminated both within the programme and by means of the centralized scheme. Specific information on projects will be provided in close cooperation with CORDIS (Community R&D Information Service).

The Commission will review the programme during the second year and send a report to the European Parliament and the Council. At the end of the programme an evaluation of the results achieved will be conducted by a group of independent experts and submitted to these same bodies.