Brussels, 02 Oct 2002
EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin has called for a global and long term approach to research in the construction sector.
Close to 200 researchers, engineers, representatives from the construction industry and from public authorities are meeting in Brussels from 2 to 4 October at a round table organised by the European council for construction research, development and innovation (ECCREDI). Participants will discuss the priorities for construction research.
'The construction industry is crucial for the European economy,' said Mr Busquin. 'Research plays a crucial role, and in all domains - the conservation of heritage, buildings, roads, methods of conception and organisation, new technologies for tools, materials and machines.'
The Commissioner also emphasised the importance of research in the industry for very large projects and for modernising SMEs, which are in the majority in the sector.
'We therefore need a global and long term vision. We should network competence and know-how as an imperative, as in the proposal for a European research area, and combine research, training and standardisation, without forgetting the use of resources and the protection of the environment.'
Some 80 construction research projects and 13 networks are currently being funded under the Growth programme of the Fifth Framework programme. Projects cover new materials, new manufacturing technologies, the process of construction, maintenance and dismantlement and equipment safety.