News archive - COST at Online MSCA “EU-Western Balkans” Seminar

This week’s online seminar organised by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) programme looked at providing networking possibilities for organisations from the Western Balkan countries and the EU interested in setting-up strategic partnerships. The event attracted over 260 participants from the Western Balkan and the rest of Europe.

Together with the Regional Cooperation Council, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the Marie Curie Alumni Association and the Enterprise Europe Network, COST participated in the Plenary Panel “Bridging MSCA with existing networks and ongoing initiatives” held on 24 March 2021.

Judith Litjens, Policy Officer at COST, joined the panel to present opportunities that COST offers to researchers and innovators in the Western Balkan countries and to underline the existing interactions between COST and MSCA.

Synergies between COST and MSCA

As a (potential) MSCA applicant,  being part of a well-established European network offered by COST Actions can act as a gamechanger.

The COST Programme also works as a pre-portal for follow-up European funding for R&I.  Spin-off proposals submitted to other parts of Horizon 2020 have a success rate of 37%, which is more than three times as high as the average H2020 success rate. Harnessing the bottom-up approach of COST is therefore a great value as it helps to build networks at an early stage that benefit researchers for future funding applications.

Ms Litjens also stressed the obvious overlap between the COST Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs), and the MSCA RISE (Research and Innovation Staff Exchange) scheme. STSMs help young researchers progress in their career as well as share know-how between more and less research-intensive countries. Similar features are also covered under the RISE scheme, which is why it could be beneficial to promote both schemes in both directions.

COST and the Western Balkan region

The scientific communities of all the Western Balkan countries are active beneficiaries of COST Actions. Between 2014 and 2019, the number of researchers from Western Balkan countries participating in the COST programme has more than doubled. Moreover, since the beginning of Horizon 2020, one fifth of the networking activities carried out by individuals from the Western Balkan region have been addressing the mobility schemes, such as short term-scientific missions (STSM) as well as training schools.

Networking sessions – Meet and Connect!

Researchers participating in the event were able to book one-to-one networking sessions with COST to discuss the opportunities offered by the COST programme in more detail.

Further information

Participate in COST Actions: How to get funding | COST

COST March Info-Days for ITC: COST Info-Days reinforcing ITC engagement in science & technology | COST

COST March Awareness Day: Full (virtual) room for COST Awareness Day NNCs | COST

More about the MSCA: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions | (

Original news:

Geographical focus
  • European Union (EU 27)
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin on March 30, 2021
Modified on March 30, 2021