European Cooperation in Science and Technology
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European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is Europe's longest-running intergovernmental framework for cooperation in science and technology. Founded in 1971, COST holds a successful history of funding science and technology networks for over 40 years, offering scientists the opportunity to embark upon bottom-up, multidisciplinary cooperation across all science and technology domains.
Also known as COST Actions, these science and technology networks allow scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This gives impetus to their research, career and innovation. Researchers, engineers and scholars from both public and private sectors can set up their own network in any field of science and technology. They can also choose to join running Actions or evaluate proposals for COST Actions.
COST Actions grow throughout a funding period of 4 years. The funding covers networking activities such as meetings (e.g. travel, subsistence, local organiser support), conferences, workshops, short-term scientific exchanges, training schools, publications and dissemination activities. COST does not fund research itself.
COST is one of the European financial instruments contributing to the build-up of the European Research Area (ERA). COST offers a platform for dialogue and interdisciplinary knowledge exchange among researchers from different fields as well as industry and their research labs. Through its inclusiveness and excellence policy, it offers opportunities for excellent researchers from less research-intensive knowledge centres. This way, COST contributes to European competitiveness and socio-economic development.
Its 36 member states include all 28 European Union countries as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey. Israel is a cooperating state. In its efforts to open the European Research Area to international cooperation, COST also welcomes and supports the active involvement in COST Actions of researchers from COST Near Neighbour Countries and International Partner Countries, on the basis of ascertained mutual benefit.
The Horizon 2020 funds COST over the 2014-2020 period.
COST has around 300 running COST Actions covering all fields of science and technology.
The Scientific Committee is at the heart of the new scientific organisation of the COST Association and plays a leading role in the new Action Submission, Evaluation, Selection and Approval (SESA) procedure.
The Scientific Committee consists of renowned, independent European researchers. It is key to the overall supervision and quality control of procedures related to the submission, evaluation and selection of proposals and the monitoring and final assessment of COST Actions.
COST is governed by the COST Member Countries.
Its highest decision-making body is the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO), consisting of two representatives per Member Country, one of them being the COST National Coordinator (CNC). The CSO is responsible for COST's strategic development and decides, amongst other things, on the proposed new Actions following the Open Call.
The COST Association was established in September 2013 by the COST Member Countries as an international not-for-profit association under Belgian law. The COST Association integrates governance, management and implementation functions into a single structure, thus ensuring the intergovernmental nature of COST and its pan-European dimension. The 36 COST Member Countries are full members of the COST Association; Israel is a Cooperating State.
The COST Association's current President is Prof Dr Sierd Cloetingh. The Director of the COST Association is currently Dr Ronald de Bruin. The COST Scientific Committee is currently chaired by Dr Jari Hämäläinen.
- Growing ideas through networks brochure
- COST Open Call infographic
- List of all COST Actions - search page
- The official COST site