This was the third meeting in the series of special topical conferences on Non-Metallic materials at low temperatures. The first meeting was in Munich in 1978, the second in Geneva (1980) and so Heidelberg 1984 seemed an obvious time to review some of the hopes and objectives of the earlier meetings. It is also appropriate to consider the changing needs of the cryogenic community and how best the theory and practice of Non-metallic materials can be applied to suit this dynamic young science. The aims and objectives of the International Cryogenic Materials Board in sponsoring this meeting remain the same. Namely, to provide a forum where practicing Engineers can meet with materials suppliers and researchers in an attempt to ensure that a real understanding exists between the two sides of the Cryogenic Materials Community. In this atmosphere, real problems can be addressed together with full discussions of tried and tested practical solutions. It is in this way that knowledge and confidence may grow hand in hand with the logical growth of the industry.