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

Press Release:

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


last updated 19.02.2021
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