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RFCS - About

What is the Research for Coal and Steel Fund (RFCS)?

The RFCS supports research projects in coal and steel sectors. These projects cover: production processes; application, utilisation and conversion of resources; safety at work; environmental protection and reducing CO2 emissions from coal use and steel production. The revenues generated from the assets of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) which have been transferred to the European Union in 2002 are used to support the RFCS research programme activities.

Every year around € 55 million (€ 47,7 million for 2015) is made available to universities, research centres and private companies to fund projects.


From the ECSC to the RFCS

In the early 1990s, a debate including all interested parties was launched on the future of the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty (ECSC) signed in 1951 and due to expire in 2002.

The Amsterdam European Council in 1997 invited the Commission to put forward proposals to ensure that revenues from ECSC reserves would be used for research within the sectors related to the coal and steel.

As a result of intensive work, in particular during the Swedish presidency in spring 2001, the Council of Ministers reached an understanding on all issues regarding the activities to be carried out after the expiry of the ECSC Treaty. The legal basis of the Research Programme of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel is currently outlined in the Council Decision 2008/376/EC of 29 April 2008, published in the Official Journal of 20 May 2008 ref. OJ L 130/7.


Management of the programme

The RFCS programme is managed by the European Commission and the following committee and groups established to assist the Commission as defined by a Council decision: the Coal and Steel Committee (COSCO), the Coal and Steel Advisory Groups (CAG, SAG) and 12 Technical Groups.

  • The Coal and Steel Committee (COSCO)
    composed of representatives of Member States, it's role is to assist the Commission in the overall programme management.
  • The Coal and Steel Advisory Groups (CAG/SAG)
    composed of technical advisers, appointed by the Commission to serve for a period of 42 months, there role is to assist the Commission in the programme management.
    CAG MembersPDF icon (updated 17 March 2016) | SAG MembersPDF icon (updated 17 March 2016)
  • Technical Groups (TG)
    composed of technical experts, appointed by the Commission and advise on research strategy, management or production. Their role is to assist the Commission in monitoring research and pilot/demonstration projects.
    Read more
  • Evaluation sessions of the proposals
    Independent experts are invited by the Commission to assess proposals and are chosen according to their field of expertise.




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Related documents

Council Decision (2003/76/EC)

Council Decision (2008/376/EC)

Yearly financial report

Success Stories

A selection of articles about EU funded Research & Innovation projects from across Europe.