Tunconstruct is calling for contractors to apply for the next phase of funding as part of its multi-disciplinary research project to promote development and implementation of technological innovation in underground construction in Europe.

The programme has been set up to contribute to an increased quality of life for Europeans by reducing construction time and cost of planned and future underground infrastructures.

Phase 2 focuses on technology, developing TBMs, roadheaders, shotcreting, materials, and ways to improve environmental impact and worker safety.

The previous consortium comprised 33 partners and seven clients from countries across Europe, and had a budget of EUR 26M (USD 35.7M) for four years from 2005 to 2009.

Gernot Beer, professor at Graz University of Technology, Austria, and the coordinator for Tunconstruct said for this phase the project is looking for very innovate opportunities and particularly for participation from larger, well-known companies in Europe.

In the previous consortium there was heavy participation from Spanish companies, he said. Though with the recession taking a toll on the construction industry, it is expected there will be a wider spread across Europe.

The project is co-financed by the European Commission, under its 6th framework program, which provides 54 per cent of the EUR 26M quadrennial budget.

Further information and contact details are available at www.tunconstruct.org.