Research Coordination

Steel research: an undertaking involving many

Steel research in Germany is not solely carried out by the companies but also in the form of networked joint research. The Steel Institute VDEh, the research association for steel application FOSTA, five joint steel industry institutes, numerous steel-oriented universities and German research institutes and centres are involved in it. There is also a European network with close connections to the RFCS research fund and to the European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP).

The network

Only a well-networked support system made up of business, technology and research makes it possible to meet the demands of a modern globalised knowledge-based society and successfully implement innovative ideas. Many parameters must be co-ordinated with one another before research can convert an idea into an innovation. A smooth transfer between universities, research establishments and companies is a crucial factor for the successful transformation of research results into innovations.

According to its statute, the aim of the Steel Institute VDEh is to support technical, technical-scientific and scientific work on iron, steel and related materials. The VDEh Research Committee represents its member companies in issues involving the support and organisation of research on the European and national levels.


Organisations involved in steel research

  • The joint research institutes of the steel industry
  • The Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Düsseldorf
  • The VDEh Institute for Applied Research (BFI), Düsseldorf
  • The Building Materials Institute (FEhS), Duisburg-Rheinhausen
  • The Research Centre for Iron Ore Beneficiation and Metallurgical Testing of Burden Materials (SGA), Liebenburg
  • The committees and specialist committees of the Steel Institute VDEh, Düsseldorf
  • The VDEh Society for the Advancement of Iron Research, Düsseldorf
  • The Research Association for Steel Application (FOSTA), Düsseldorf


In addition to the above-mentioned research establishments directly connected with the steel industry and financed by it, there are further competences regarding the material steel in Germany in the universities, in the research institutes of the Fraunhofer Society, in the research centres of the Helmholtz Society, in the institutes of the Leibniz Society, and in the Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing.

Co-ordination tasks

In addition to determining the strategic alignment of R&D activities, the identification of potential R&D priorities is one of the central tasks involved in the co-ordination of research. In this regard it is necessary to be involved at an early stage in the structuring of support programmes, both on the national and the European level. The advocacy role for joint research is also part of the range of tasks involved, as is the development and forward projection of a research agenda.

Research management

The last of these strategic tasks involves organising the implementation of research from the original proposal to the dissemination of results.