Introducing ESTEP

Implementing a vision for the steel sector

More than ever, the European steel industry remains committed to enhance the role of the European Union as a technology leader by engaging in research and innovation ”. ESTEP Chairman 2006-2011, Dr Michel Wurth.

ESTEP’s ambition is to maintain and reinforce the global leadership of the EU steel industry. This means using research and innovation to develop new products and processes that will foster competitiveness while meeting both growth and environmental targets. To achieve this ambition, ESTEP has launched a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) that sets out what must be done over the coming decades. The SRA proposes three large and complementary industrial programmes that are now being implemented:

  • Developing safer, cleaner, more cost-effective and less capital-intensive technologies;
  • Promoting the rational use of energy resources and the management of residues; and,
  • Creating appealing steel-based solutions for end-users and customers around the world.

To achieve this vision, the European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP) brings together the major stakeholders in the European steel industry. Members include all the major steel manufacturers; universities and research institutions active in steel research; major users of steel such as car manufacturers; and public bodies like the European Commission and national governments – which have great interest in this vital industrial sector that is so important for Europe’s future.

The sheer diversity of products, services and applications that use steel in the global economy serves to highlight the critical role ESTEP and its members can play in achieving sustainable economic growth while reducing the impact of steel supply chains on the environment. For example, ESTEP and its members are leading the Ultra-Low Carbon-Dioxide Steelmaking (ULCOS) initiative to drastically reduce emissions from steel production – by 50 % or more. Further down the supply chain, ESTEP is a leading partner in the SPIRE initiative – a public-private partnership that will take a holistic approach to ‘decarbonising’ manufacturing supply chains across a whole range of sectors. Working with major partners in the processing industries – such as wood pulp, plastics, ceramics and chemicals – SPIRE aims to reduce fossil energy intensity by 30 % and non-renewable raw materials intensity by 20 % – both by 2030.

These efforts are important because the European steel industry is a key contributor to economic growth and employment in Europe and a global leader in steel technology. It generates more than EUR 200 billion in turnover and provides jobs for over 350 000 Europeans. It is also the source of millions of additional jobs in other industrial sectors that use steel – such as car manufacturing and construction. This is why it is so important to ensure that ESTEP’s members maintain their global leadership and consistently improve their competitiveness.

Last updated on: 2012-06-27