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Research and innovation
News article18 February 2022Directorate-General for Research and Innovation3 min read

New Research Fund for Coal and Steel calls: EUR 142 million for research in support of the European Green Deal and Just Transition

Today, two additional calls, with a total budget of EUR 142 million have been added to the traditional annual Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) call published every year. This corresponds with the 20th anniversary of the RFCS programme. The total budget combines the 2022 budget and the non-spent budget available from 2021. It is allocated among the two “Big Ticket” calls, on Steel and Coal:

  • The “Big Tickets” call on Steel has a budget of EUR 104 million. It covers pilot and demonstrators for breakthrough clean steel making technologies such as Carbon Capture Use and Storage, Process Intensification, and CO2 neutral iron ore reduction.
  • The “Big Tickets” call on Coal has a budget of EUR 38 million. It covers  pilot and demonstrators supporting the repurposing of closed coalmines such as mine, water or land monitoring as well as treatment and restoration, waste and spoil treatments, energy recovery and monitoring of methane emissions and materials recycling, including recovery of critical raw materials.

To find out more and apply for the calls please visit the Funding & tender portal. Deadline for application: by 03 May, 2022, 17h00 CET.

The “Big Tickets” calls, part of the new RFCS programme, will target large projects at high technology readiness levels to support the necessary technology-to-market transition and transformation that will drive a disruptive reduction of the steel industry emissions towards clean steel making and help the coal sector towards a sustainable transition during the phase out of coal, in line with the Just Transition.

The “Big Tickets” calls will build directly on previous research funded by the RFCS, as for instance the ‘Green Steel for Europe’ and ‘RECOVERY’ projects.


The Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) is the EU funding programme supporting research and demonstration projects in the coal and steel sectors. Every year, the RFCS supports projects where the beneficiaries are universities, research centres, and private companies.

The RFCS programme has the following research objectives:

  • For Coal it supports the just transition of the coal sector and regions; improving health and safety and minimise the environmental impacts of coalmines in transition.
  • For Steel it contributes to new, sustainable and low-carbon steelmaking and finishing processes;  advanced steel grades and applications; conservation of resources, protection of the environment and circular economy;  and management of work force and working conditions.

The RFCS programme is contributing to the Clean Steel Partnership recently launched in Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme (2021-2027), and it is fundamental for the European steel industry. It will help the transformation of this strategic sector towards the green, digital and circular transitions. Moreover, it will also contribute to the European steel industry becoming even more competitive globally, in a sustainable way. The RFCS programme is also crucial for the Coal sector in order that, during the phase out of coal, the coal regions in transition will not be left behind.

On 19 July 2021, the EU adopted the new RFCS package. This modernisation act aims to enable the fund to use a portion of the assets of the European Steel and Coal Community (ECSC) in liquidation for the period 2021-27 in order to provide an annual RFCS allocation of EUR 111 million to finance research for breakthrough technologies leading to near-zero-carbon steelmaking and research projects for managing the just transition of formerly operating coal mines or coal mines in the process of closure, and related infrastructure in line with the Just Transition Mechanism.

The project Green Steel for Europe, with 10 partners and budget of EUR 1.25 million developed a technology roadmap and defined mid-and long-term pathways for the decarbonisation of the EU steel industry; analysing funding options; assessing the impacts of EU policy options; and ensuring high stakeholder engagement.

The RECOVERY project with a budget of about EUR 2 million, gathers 7 partners from 4 EU countries, targets land rehabilitation and ecological restoration of underground and opencast coal mining-affected areas. It applies an ecosystem services concept to accelerate the recovery of degraded and transformed ecosystems to a good ecosystem status, in a large-scale real setting.

More Information

Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS)

Funding & tenders portal

Green Steel for Europe

Recovery Project


Publication date
18 February 2022
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation