Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 107,9 million
To reduce costs and increase energy conservation in the production, processing and fabrication of steel, enhance productivity, improve product quality in its various aspects, improve the service performance of the product and broaden the range of utilization.


Pursuant to the terms of Article 55 of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) the Commission is required to promote technical and economic research relating to the production and increased use of steel. The policy adopted for this collaborative research is consistent with the General Objectives for Steel in which the Commission periodically defines under Article 46 of the ECSC Treaty the future demand for steel, the required productive capacity, the desirable modernization investment and the trends in raw material usage. The research is supported by funds derived from levies imposed on the production of coal and steel provided for in Article 49 of the ESCS Treaty.

From the beginning of the programme in 1955 through 1980 the total financial aid granted by the Commission for technical research on steel amounted to about 180 million European units of account, representing 60% of the total cost of the research undertaken.

The 1981-1985 medium-term orientation for the programme was drawn up in collaboration with experts from the producer and user sectors of the steel industry and from steel research establishments in the Community with a view to overcoming the crisis prevailing in the steel sector as a result of the 1973/ 1974 oil crisis and changing patterns of iron and steel making in the world.

A complementary programme of pilot and demonstration projects in the iron and steel industry was launched by the Commission in 1983 (Official Journal No C 81 of 24.3.1983).


Two major sectors:

- Production and processing:
Directed at reducing costs, both operational and capital investment, and at achieving improved and more consistent quality steel; attention was also devoted to the longer-term development of alternative production routes.
. Raw material and energy conservation, substitution and diversification;
. Further optimization and control of existing production operations, modernization of existing plant and equipment;
. Improvement and extension of continuous processing;
. Development of new process technologies and production methods;
. Preparation and reduction of iron ores;
. Steel production;
. Secondary steelmaking (laddle metallurgy);
. Casting and solidification (notably continuous casting);
. Rolling mill technology and other deformation processes (hot and cold), product quality;
. Measurement and control techniques;

- Properties and utilization:
Concerned with the development of higher grade products of more consistent quality and with reducing costs in production and fabrication; also concerned with the development of more sophisticated and advanced products for new market applications thereby stimulating the demand for steel.
. The detailed scientific understanding of the properties of steel and their development;
. The exploitation of steels to meet more demanding applications based upon an analysis of total engineering systems;
. The generation of engineering property data;
. Translation and exploitation of available basic understanding of the behaviour of steels;
. Structural, alloy and special steels;
. Joining and fabrication techniques and resulting properties (notably welding);
. Corrosion properties, surface protection and surface treatment;
. Strength, toughness and formability of steels;
. Fracture properties and fracture mechanisms;
. Utilization of steels in construction and in engineering;
. Quality inspection and assessment techniques for fabricated parts and structures.


Financial assistance for individual research projects was granted by the Commission with the assent of the Council after consultation with the ECSC Consultative Committee made up of representatives of the coal and steel industry from each Member State. As a general rule the Commission contributed approximately 60% of the estimated total cost of financing the research. All enterprises, research institutes and individuals wishing to engage in research relating to the fields outlined in the 1981-1985 medium-term orientation for the programme were eligible to apply. The applicant did not necessarily need to be directly connected with the iron and steel industry. Applications were to be submitted before 1 September each year to be effective in the following year. The procedures to be followed in applying, the terms and conditions of aid as well as the obligations relating to the dissemination of research results were set forth in Commission communications (Official Journal No C 139 of 12.11.1974 and Official Journal No C 159 of 24.6.1982).
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