At the start of the new millennium, changes in the industry present the VDZ with new challenges. The regulations and the standardisation that relate to cement and concrete increasingly take place at European level. Hence in the future the VDZ no longer has to represent the technical and scientific interests of its members in the hydraulic binder field exclusively at the national, but increasingly at the European level. But the cement industry itself has also since the 90s been undergoing an increasing internationalisation process. Hence the institute increasingly receives requests from abroad; many international cement manufacturers wish to share in the research findings. For this reason, at the start of 2002, the VDZ defined its previous objectives afresh: It has created the basis for a European research platform.
The positive experiences with the joint research at the national level form the basis for the development of this European research platform, the „European Cement Research Academy“. Founded in summer 2002 as an independent company, the Academy will begin its actual work in 2003. There, as an additional offer, research results will be more extensively communicated to the participants in seminars and conferences. The Academy is organisationally separate from the VDZ and is open to all cement manufacturers. Here it is immaterial whether or not these are regular members of the VDZ. The independence of the Academy ensures the equal treatment of all its members. All members have the same rights and obligations. The work of the Academy is decided by a Technical Advisory Board staffed at the European level.
Through the foundation of the European Cement Research Academy, the VDZ retains its well-established form. Its statutory activity remains the same. However, through the foundation of the Academy, the VDZ is emphatically adopting a European orientation, without throwing past achievements overboard in the process.