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RFCS: Call of the research programme of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel 2020
EU - Sonstige
Specific Challenge:

On the 1st of December 2019, a new European Commission entered into service for the present quinquennium 2019-2024. The new College of Commissioners, under the presidency of Ms Ursula von der Leyen, reset the Commission's commitment to "tackling climate and environmental-related challenges that is this generation's defining task". The European Green Deal Communication, presented by the Commission in December 2019, is a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.

Coal: RFCS-01-2020
- A power sector must be developed that is based largely on renewable sources, complemented by the rapid phasing out of coal
- The EU should also reinforce current initiatives [..] on cross-cutting climate and environment issues. This may include ending global fossil fuel subsidies in line with G20 commitments, [..] phasing out all new coal plant construction, and action to reduce methane emissions
- Focus on the regions and sectors that are most affected by the transition because they depend on fossil fuels or carbon-intensive processes
- Protect the citizens and workers most vulnerable to the transition, providing access to re-skilling programmes, jobs in new economic sectors

Steel: RFCS-02-2020

- Energy-intensive industries, such as steel [..] are indispensable to Europe's economy, as they supply several key value chains. The decarbonisation and modernisation of this sector is essential.
- The Commission will support clean steel breakthrough technologies leading to a zero-carbon steel making process by 2030.

The Research Objectives for the steel topic are:
1. New and improved steelmaking and finishing techniques
This objective aims to improve steel production processes with a view to enhancing product quality and increasing productivity. Reducing emissions, energy consumption and the environmental impact as well as enhancing the use of raw materials and the conservation of resources are an integral part of this improvements. Proposals shall address one or more of the following areas:

(a) new and improved iron-ore reduction processes; (b) ironmaking processes and operations; © electric arc furnace processes; (d) steelmaking processes; (e) secondary metallurgy techniques; (f) continuous casting and near net shape-casting techniques with and without direct rolling; (g) rolling, finishing and coating techniques; (h) hot- and cold-rolling techniques, pickling and finishing processes; (i) process instrumentation, control and automation; (j) maintenance and reliability of production lines.

2. RTD and the utilisation of steel
RTD related to the utilisation of steel is undertaken to meet the future requirements of steel users and to create new market opportunities. Proposals shall address one or more of the following areas:

(a) new steel grades for demanding applications; (b) steel properties addressing mechanical properties at low and high temperatures such as strength and toughness, fatigue, wear, creep, corrosion and resistance against fracture; © prolonging service life, in particular by improving the resistance of steels and steel structures to heat and corrosion; (d) steel-containing composites and sandwich structures; (e) predictive simulation models on microstructures and mechanical properties; (f) structural safety and design methods, in particular with regard to resistance to fire and earthquakes; (g) technologies relating to the forming, welding and joining of steel and other materials; (h) standardisation of testing and evaluation methods.

3. Conservation of resources and improvement of working conditions
In both steel production and steel utilisation, the conservation of resources, the preservation of the ecosystem and safety issues forms an integral part of the RTD work. Proposals shall address one or more of the following areas:

(a) techniques for recycling obsolete steel from various sources and classification of steel scrap; (b) steel grades and design of assembled structures to facilitate the easy recovery of steel scrap and its reconversion into usable steels; © control and protection of the environment in and around the workplace; (d) restoration of steelworks sites; (e) improvement of working conditions and quality of life in the workplace; (f) ergonomic methods; (g) occupational health and safety; (h) reduction of exposure to occupational emissions.

Further Information: