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The Commission is holding a three-day meeting at the Bibliotheque Royale in Brussels starting on 22 October, to mark the launching of the European Safety and Reliability Association (ESRA). It will be attended by numerous experts in these fields from industry and from the universities of various Member States. The opening speech will be delivered by Mr Narjes, Vice-President of the Commission of the European Communities, who has special responsibility for research and technology. ESRA is a Commission initiative. Long active in the field of nuclear safety (mainly through the work of the Joint Research Centre), the Commission decided that it would be of value to bring together European safety and reliability specialists dealing with problems common to a great many fields such as chemistry, the oil industry, aeronautics, electronics and telecommunications. In consultation with industry, the universities and professional associations, the Commission has accordingly set up ESRA, an informal association providing a communication network between national and international groups, research centres, institutes, universities and companies affected by the problems in question. It will be able to serve as a framework for the exchange of information and research results, setting-up of databases, organization of training sessions, etc. Some activities have even preceded the official launching. A newsletter is already being published, a course on reliability modelling was held last year at the JRC, Ispra, and work has begun on a collection of reliability data (Euredata), for example. Those taking part in the inaugural meeting will have the opportunity to review these early initiatives. Also featuring on the programme are papers by Commission experts, specialists in safety problems in the nuclear and oil industries (e.g. in connection with offshore drilling) and specialists in reliabilityin fields such as robotics and software design.