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Between 1989 and 1992, the regions of Wallonia (B), Limousin (F), Nord Pas-de-Calais (F) and Valencia (E), each of which have centres of excellence in ceramics, benefited from European Community funding to evaluate their scientific and industrial potential in the field of ceramics.

At the end of 1992, along with two additional regions, Centro (P) and Shannon (IRL), the Euroceram network was formed.

Between 1992 and 1995, the network, with funding under the RECITE I programme, put in place mechanisms for information exchange between the partner regions and carried out a number of activities which reinforced the capacity of the group to face up to non-European competition. One of the mechanisms for information exchange, which were mostly put in place by the research laboratories in the regions, was the publication of an information newsletter, Euroceram News, the successor of which reappears here.

This year, a seventh region, Tampere (FIN) has joined the Euroceram network and a new project, to run from 1999 to 2001, has been proposed to the European Commission, in the framework of the RECITE II programme. The primary objective of the project is to involve the maximum number of ceramic companies (producers and users) from the partner regions and the proposed programme to achieve this is detailed in this issue of Euroceram News.

For the partner regions the project will entail:

  • encouraging interregional co-operation in the area of ceramics, primarily through complementary research between the industrialists from the different regions. This will be achieved by making available the wealth of knowledge and skills in the other regions of the network and by promotion of innovation which will allow access to larger markets,
  • effecting cost reduction in new product research and development and in the exploitation of new fabrication and control technologies.
  • Achieving these objectives will allow maximum exploitation of local potential especially that of innovative companies, particularly SMEs, with a view to the creation of employment.

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