The objective of the proposed Thematic Network is to provide a focus within Europe for the co-ordination, discussion, standardisation and development of all aspects of crack initiation and growth under creep and/or fatigue conditions in high temperature industrial applications. The particular emphasis will be on research requirements for data generation, analysis and exchange, and industrial experience in crack initiation and propagation monitoring and assessment. The objective of the Exploratory Phase is to assess the severity of problem in industrial applications and the degree of support and demand within industry, research institutes and universities for the establishment of the Network, and to agree on the structure and working of such a Network. The approach of the Exploratory Phase is based on three organisations namely ERA Technology, JRC-Petten and ESB from three European Union countries ie UK, Netherlands, and Ireland, carrying out a broad survey and analysis of the problem within European industry and interest in research establishments, and submitting a formal report to the Commission of the European Union on the findings of the Exploratory Phase. In the event of sufficient support from potential partners, the report to the Commission will be accompanied by a full proposal on the structure and working of the Thematic Network, ie Implementation Phase Proposal.