At the Royaumont Seminar (1959), the New Math reform was officially launched. In the decade between Royaumont and the first ICME congress in Lyon (1969), many mathematics educators were involved in actions to facilitate the implementation of the New Math reform. The New Math advocates were convinced that a deep knowledge and understanding of the structures of modern mathematics were prerequisites to arrive at substantial applications, but in actual classroom practices, the applied side of mathematics was often completely neglected. But already in Royaumont, there were alternative voices who pleaded for taking the role of applications seriously. We investigate the arguments for integrating applications in mathematics education, as well as the kind of (new) applications that were envisaged, at the Royaumont Seminar and in the decade thereafter.