Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS)

Created in 2002 to build on the successes of the European Coal and Steel Community

The Research Fund for Coal & Steel (RFCS) gives funding of over €50 million every year to innovative projects to enhance the safety, efficiency and competitive edge of the EU coal and steel industries.

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.

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