ECSC-STEELRES 8C - Medium-term guidelines (ECSC) for the programmes of technical steel research and of steel pilot/demonstration projects, 1991-1995
To sustain and develop the European steel industry's international competitiveness in an industrial and commercial context by continuing to undertake research and development to improve quality and reduce production costs, to sustain the outlets for steel in its traditional markets and the development of new markets, and to adapt production conditions to meet increasingly stringent environmental requirements.
The ECSC technical research activities consist of two Community programmes of support for collaborative research and technological development undertaken pursuant to the terms of Article 55 of the Treaty which states that the Commission 'shall promote technical and economic research relating to the production and increased use of coal and steel and to occupational safety in the coal and steel industries'. This specific programme is concerned with steel research, promoting collaboration between the steel industry and its research laboratories, while the other specific programme is concerned with steel pilot and demonstration projects, promoting complementary centres of expertise in industry, universities and research institutes. Guidelines are established periodically to reflect the industry's changing scientific and technological priorities. It has now been decided to establish common guidelines for these activities for the period up to 1995. Thus, these guidelines are an extension of those for steel research for 1986 to 1990 (Official Journal No C 294 of 16.11.1985).
The objectives and technical orientations of the guidelines correspond to the Commission's policy for the steel sector and, in particular, to the contribution ECSC research has to make in sustaining the industry's competitiveness outlined in the 'General Objectives Steel 1995' (COM(90) 201 final of 7.5.1990). Close coordination will be maintained with the other ECSC research programmes on questions relating to the environment and energy utilization.
- Actions concerned with production processes:
. Reducing the processing time, improving the technical reliability of the processing plant, improving output quality at the various processing stages, improving the flexibility of the processing line;
. Gaining a more detailed knowledge of the physical and chemical phenomena of multiphase systems as well as the development of processes giving new and improved properties;
. Continuing the effort to achieve economies in the consumption of raw materials, in manpower and in energy consumed in producing steel as well as choosing the most appropriate raw materials and form of energy;
- Actions concerned with steel products:
. Reducing the time to produce the steel products demanded by the client, delivering better information to the customer, promoting adequately the new product;
. Supplying the customers products with consistent quality and reliability which can be immediately utilized, developing of quality assurance, partnership with the steel users in the utilization of steel;
. Development of new uses for steel and the use of new steel grades;
- Actions concerned with the environment protection:
. Improving the environmental control techniques for existing processes;
. Developing new clean technologies for production and processing of steel;
. Upgrading the value of by-products to reduce steelplant wastes;
. 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 robotization;
. Improvement in the reliability of installations;
. New processes for the making and shaping of steel;
. Improving environmental quality and up-grading the value of by-products;
. Energy sector;
. Civil engineering and steel structures;
. Plant engineering;
. Mechanical engineering;
. Household and packaging;
The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme assisted in the overall management by an advisory committee entitled 'Steel Research and Development Committee (SERDEC) composed of a maximum of two members from each Member State appointed by the Commission to serve in a personal capacity. Members are drawn from senior research and technical management and have substantial knowledge of the research and development needs of the steel sector. The chairman and secretariat of the Committee are provided by the Commission. If needed, the Committee may establish ad hoc working groups for a specific period of time to carry out a clearly defined task.
Applications for financial support must be submitted to the Commission before 1 September of each year to be effective the following year. Projects involving only one organization should not exceed ECU 1 million total project cost for the duration of three years. Preference is given to large scale transnational projects of major industrial importance for which budgets larger than ECU 1 million are required.
Monitoring the progress of contracts concluded will be undertaken by a series of executive committees involving six-monthly meetings to examine progress and final reports on contracts, to comment where appropriate on financial aspects and to provide technical guidance on the future development of the projects.