Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 112,8 million

Official Journal Reference

C 294 of 1985-11-16

Legislative Reference

To achieve improved cost-competitiveness in the production and processing of steel along with the enhancement and greater uniformity of quality in its various aspects, and to stimulate steel consumption in domestic and export markets by the development of improved steel grades and new uses for products technologically and economically more advanced than those of our competitors.


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 as provided for in Article 49 of the ECSC Treaty.

From the beginning of the programme in 1955 to 1985 the total financial aid granted by the Commission for technical research on steel amounted to about 271 million European units of account, representing 60% of the total cost of the research undertaken.

The technical scope of the programme ranges from the reduction of iron ores and steelmaking to studies of the properties and utilization of steel. Current priority themes for R&D include the following:

- Processes:
. Reduction in the cost of energy consumed and in its effect on the environment;
. Development of treatments for the secondary refining of liquid metal;
. Improvement of measuring and analysis techniques;
. Modelling of production processes;
. Development of control, automation and robotisation;
. Improvement in the reliability of installations and product data handling;
. New processes for the making and shaping of steel;
. Improving environmental quality and up-grading the value of by-products;

- Products: R&D on products covers, primarily, the following principal sectors of steel use: transport, energy sector, civil engineering and steel structures, plant engineering, mechanical engineering, household and packaging, and environment.

The research concerns in particular:
- Development of the use of steel products by existing methods and by new techniques;
- Development of the service properties of steel, especially adapting steels having improved properties for specific applications, mechanical properties at high and low temperatures, fracture resistance ( ductile and brittle), fatigue resistance, corrosion resistance, behaviour under combined stresses, electrical and magnetic properties, wear resistance;
- Development of new categories of materials such as composites based on steel, combining steel with other materials, steels produced by novel processing methods, e.g. ultra rapid cooling;
- Generating data and information that will contribute to standard making activities, e.g. EUROCODES.

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).


- Reduction of iron ores;
- Primary steelmaking;
- Secondary steelmaking;
- Casting and solidification;
- Rolling: Long products and reheating furnaces;
- Rolling: Flat products;
- Physical metallurgy of rolling and finishing;
- NDT technology and measurement;
- Chemical analysis;
- Mechanical characteristics;
- Corrosion;
- Special and alloy steels;
- Thin sheets;
- Plates and heavy beams;
- Steel structures.


Financial assistance for individual research projects is 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 contributes 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 1986-1990 medium-term guidelines for the programme are eligible to apply. The applicant need not necessarily be directly connected with the iron and steel industry. Applications must 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 are set forth in a Commission communication (Official Journal No C 159 of 24.6.1982).
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