The European Coal and Steel Community (31/10/00) has announced that a research project that it has funded has led to an important innovation in the production of steel for automobile construction. The heavy industrial arm of the EU says that the project, led by the Centre for Research in Metallurgy (CRM, Belgium), has resulted in a new thermal treatment in steel production which strengthens weak points in the metal and leads to a 30 per cent increase in productivity for the foundry.