The SOVAMAT Initiative and the SAM network

SOVAMAT is an Initiative of a Consortium of material producers, steel, non-ferrous metals, concrete, cardboard, wood, glass, plastics and composites, and of scientists in the continuum of fields extending from social sciences to engineering, who have something to say about the structural material basis of our societies.

SOVAMAT‘s overarching objectives are to identify the role of structural materials in the post-carbon society, which will emerge in the world in the course of the 21st century and prepare all the stakeholders of the materials value chain for the changes that are to come.

One important deliverable of the Initiative is a New Metrics, which would replace the methodologies and tools presently available and constitute a breakthrough.

Society and Materials – The SAM seminars

SAM seminars are special occasions to exchange ideas and to liaise with people who are working on the connection between society and materials, from the standpoint of social sciences, economics, life cycle thinking methodologies and material flow approaches. They are organized in parallel and in support of a series of research proposals to the European 7th and Horizon 2020 Framework Programmes, under the umbrella of SOVAMAT.

The 12th edition of SAM will take place in Metz on 22 and 23 May, 2018.


Final programme

Online Registration Form

Practical information (venue, accommodation, transport, social event)

Visit the SAM CONFERENCES tab to download papers and presentations:

  • SAM 1 Seville (Spain, 2007)
  • SAM 2 Nantes (France, 2008)
  • SAM 3 Freiberg (Germany,2009)
  • SAM 4 Nancy (France, 2010)
  • SAM 5 Metz (France, 2011)
  • SAM 6 Leuven (Belgium, 2012)
  • SAM 7 Aachen (Germany, 2013)
  • SAM 8 Liège (Belgium, 2014)
  • SAM 9 Luxembourg (Lux, 2015)
  • SAM 10 Rome (Italy, 2016)
  • SAM 11 Trondheim (Norway, 2017)

Members of the Scientific Committee

Some selected high quality papers have been published by EDP sciences in special issues of Revue de Métallurgie, devoted to previous SAM conferences (1-8).


Selected articles of SAM 9 are available in Matériaux & Techniques Vol. 104, No. 1 (2016). mattech_cover


Materials have accompanied mankind along its long historical journey through time since the dawn of the Palaeolithic. The relationship has been fusional as materials have been used to make and help make homes, clothes, pots and pans, tools, machines, weapons, all the artefacts that distinguish human beings from animals. The connection with the environment has just been equally fusional as materials have been extracted out of natural resources – raw materials and energy, and have helped shape the landscape, the countries and the cities for mankind to live in. This bond between materials and society will continue for a long time. Materials will continue to be ubiquitous. Material can even be found in the word dematerialization, a concept that questions the role that materials will play in society in the future. By materials, we mean all the materials which have become part of human life as History rolled on: lithic materials, biomaterials and especially wood, metals, from gold to silver and bronze to iron as well as more modern materials, i.e. the materials of today, born from the meeting of mankind’s arts and crafts with its scientific view of the world: ferrous and non-ferrous metals, including steel, zinc, aluminium, copper, lead and tin, cement and concrete, plastics and composites, etc. The list covers most structural materials, but it can probably be argued that all materials should be included, as modern artefacts are a mixture of materials and functions at various levels of scale and complexity, for example in nano- and intelligent materials.