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Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS)

On the 24th of September, the European Commission published the combined Monitoring and Assessment Report of the RFCS Research Programme, as foreseen in the Legal Basis (Council Decision 2008/376/EC). It includes an accurate analysis of its operational aspects and an in-depth evaluation of the financial benefits for Europe.

The Monitoring and Assessment Report was presented on that day, at the 21st European Round Table on Coal at the European Parliament and at the 50 year event of Centro Sviluppi Materiali (CSM) in Rome.

21st European Round Table on Coal at the European Parliament, 24 September. Left to right: Roger de Bazelaire (Vice President  Bogdanka coal mine, PL), Alan Haigh (RFCS, European Commission), Dr Christian Ehler (Member of the European Parliament), Zbigniew Stopa (CEO Bogdanka coal mine, PL).

21st European Round Table on Coal at the European Parliament, 24 September. Left to right: Roger de Bazelaire (Vice President Bogdanka coal mine, PL), Alan Haigh (RFCS, European Commission), Dr Christian Ehler (Member of the European Parliament), Zbigniew Stopa (CEO Bogdanka coal mine, PL).


Mauro Pontremoli and Chairman, Ing. Roberto Zocchi receive a copy of the RFCS Monitoring and Assessment Report from the hands of Franco Cozzani, Deputy HoU, RFCS. At the right, Herbert von Bose, Director for industrial Technologies - DG Research & Innovation.
Mauro Pontremoli and Chairman, Ing. Roberto Zocchi receive a copy of the RFCS Monitoring and Assessment Report from the hands of Franco Cozzani, Deputy HoU, RFCS. At the right, Herbert von Bose, Director for industrial Technologies - DG Research & Innovation.


Mauro Pontremoli and Chairman, Ing. Roberto Zocchi receive a copy of the RFCS Monitoring and Assessment Report from the hands of Franco Cozzani, Deputy HoU, RFCS. At the right, Herbert von Bose, Director for industrial Technologies - DG Research & Innovation.
Mauro Pontremoli and Chairman, Ing. Roberto Zocchi receive a copy of the RFCS Monitoring and Assessment Report from the hands of Franco Cozzani, Deputy HoU, RFCS. At the right, Herbert von Bose, Director for industrial Technologies - DG Research & Innovation.



The Monitoring and Assessment exercise of the RFCS Programme covering the period 2003 - 2010 was carried out by an Expert Committee. Information from the Commission’s statistical data, responses of 103 beneficiaries and other stakeholders to a comprehensive questionnaire, exchange with all the members of the Technical Groups and the experts’ own experience, were used. In total 198 projects were completed during the period 2003 - 2010. Experts identified a set of 78 projects they considered as the most significant and promising regarding the assessment of benefits. A final sample of 46 projects was selected for deeper assessment.




Steel

The Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) supports innovative research on coal and steel technologies. The RFCS was created in 2002 - on expiry of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Treaty. Yearly interest on the assets of the ECSC, some €55m/year, is used to fund the research. While complementary to the EU's 7th Framework Programme, RFCS is managed outside of it and is, from a financial point of view, a unique concept. Steel production and coal extraction (and its entire product cycle) are key technology areas for the continuous sustainable economic development of Europe.

The Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) provides funding for high quality research projects which support the competitiveness of the European Coal and Steel industries. The programme covers core production processes; new products and applications, quality control, utilisation and conversion of resources, safety at work; environmental protection by reduction of emissions from coal use and steel production, and social issues.

A world leader in the steel industry, notably in the design and production of high added-value grades of steel, the European steel industry is facing increasingly fierce competition from external producers.

Advanced research is essential for European industry to remain competitive. As the world continues to rely on steel in the years to come in ever larger quantities, advanced sustainable and cleaner production techniques must clearly be developed and implemented. Europe stands a unique chance to lead worldwide in this domain.

Coal

Coal is both a key ingredient in steel production, and is needed as a source of energy to ensure Europe has a secure supply. 40% of world electricity generation derives from coal. Coal remains the main energy source for some EU countries (93% of Polish electricity is produced from coal). There is no doubt that this resource finds a preeminent role in a balanced energy mix for Europe. Consequently, Europe must develop critical clean coal technologies, namely carbon sequestration technology for existing and future coal-fired plants for electricity production, and increased efficiency and reduction / capture of CO2 emissions in the entire extraction and processing cycle.

Who decides the RFCS's funding priorities?

The long-term strategy of the RFCS is based on priorities identified by:

Research priorities may be updated annually, on the basis of recommendations from these platforms.