Projet NeTTUN

14 September 2012, Lyon, France

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - NeTTUN Project Launches, EC Sponsors Groundbreaking Research & Development for Change in the Construction, Management and Maintenance of Tunnels


21 Industry, Research & Development Laboratories and SME partners from 9 European countries gathered today at Ecole Centrale de Lyon in Lyon, France for the launch of the NeTTUN  (New Technologies for Tunnelling and Underground Works) Collaborative R & D Project, funded by the European Commission.

Initiated and managed by NFM Technologies, the French Tunnel Boring Machines manufacturer, the NeTTUN project will address key scientific and technical challenges in the Tunnelling industry over a period of 4.5 years. The NeTTUN work programme of interrelating projects intends to dramatically enhance every aspect of the lifecycle of tunnelling:  from design, to construction, and maintenance of Europe’s already very extensive tunnel legacy.

Each NeTTUN partner has been invited to participate because of their unique scientific expertise and specialist tunnelling sector experience. NeTTUN and the EC have set ambitious goals to research and develop –

  • An advanced multi-sensor ground prediction system for TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) to enable fast, frequent and effective detection in the ground ahead of the excavation face
  • Advanced robotics for TBM maintenance that enables automation of routine but hazardous tasks
  • Cutter tools with a greatly increased lifetime
  • A novel system for the modelling of global risks to be used for the definition of the best strategy both during design and construction phases
  • A suite of systems  to  model and control the impact of tunnelling on surrounding structures
  • A decision support system for tunnel maintenance

NeTTUN plans to test and evaluate all of these in real operations on site at tunnels including Metro Line C construction under some of Rome’s most ancient monuments, as well as with OHL on the Guadalquivir, and Razel-Fayat on the Fréjus and future projects.

“NeTTUN will deliver maximum impact with its results, well beyond the current state of the art, to demonstrate real progress that can be utilised to the benefit of the tunnelling sector across Europe, and for European industry and Research and Development to compete globally” states Dr Thomas Camus, R&D Manager at NFM Technologies.


NFM Technologies manages the scientific and technical aspects of the project and Ecole Centrale de Lyon, a French top level engineering school involved in international research, is the NeTTUN Project Coordinator.

NeTTUN receives funding from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration (FP7 2007-2013) under Grant Agreement 280712.


For further information on the NeTTUN Project please contact Ashleigh Ogier,
NeTTUN Project Support Officer at NFM Technologies at    or + 33 (0) 6 59 72 92 58

The NeTTUN Consortium

Ecole Centrale de Lyon                                                                                                France

BG Ingénieurs Conseils SAS                                                                                       France

Technische Universiteit Delft                                                                                     Netherlands

National Technical University of Athens                                                                 Greece

Deutsches Forschungszentrum Fuer Kuenstliche Intelligenz Gmbh                 Germany

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne                                                            Switzerland

I.D.S Ingegneria Dei Sistemi S.PA.                                                                            Italy

Inexia SA                                                                                                                         France

Ecole Nationale Des Travaux Publics De L’Etat                                                   France

NFM Technologies                                                                                                        France

Sial.Tec Engineering                                                                                                     Italy      

Metro C SCPA                                                                                                               Italy

Obrascon Huarte Lain SA                                                                                           Spain

Razel SAS                                                                                                                        France

University of Leeds                                                                                                       United Kingdom

Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français                                                     France

Tallinna Tehnikaulikool                                                                                              Estonia

Universita Degli Studi Di Roma Tor Vergata                                                         Italy

Université de Limoges                                                                                                  France

Centre D’Ingénierie Des Systèmes de Télécommunication en

Electromagnetisme et Electronique                                                                          France

MI-Partners BV                                                                                                             Netherlands