News archive - COST Builds Science and Technology Networks

COST (The European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research), an intergovernmental European initiative, is an active partner in the European Research Area and aims to foster cooperation between nationally-funded research activities. COST Actions are networks of scientists receiving support to enable them to cooperate and later to disseminate the results of their cooperation. Existing COST Actions operate across a wide spectrum of scientific fields, and can be multi-disciplinary in nature.
Following the 'bottom-up' principle, the scientists themselves propose new Actions, making COST an attractive forum for new and emerging topics.

Since COST funds the networking activities and not the research itself, new partners can join throughout the life of an Action as the field develops.
COST, which was launched in 1971, has developed into one of the largest frameworks for research cooperation in Europe involving some 30,000 scientists from 35 COST member countries. On the basis of mutual benefit, COST also welcomes institutions from non-COST countries and from non-governmental organisations to participate.
As a precursor to advanced multidisciplinary research, COST is anticipating and complementing the activities of the EU RTD Framework Programmes, constituting a 'bridge' towards the scientific communities of emerging countries, increasing the mobility of researchers across Europe and fostering the establishment of 'Networks of Excellence' in its nine scientific domains: Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences; Food and Agriculture; Forests, their Products and Services; Materials, Physics and Nanosciences; Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and Technologies; Earth System Science and Environmental Management; Information and Communication Technologies; Transport and Urban Development; Individuals, Society, Culture and Health.
The cooperation has an annual budget of around 20 million euro, but it facilitates research valued at a hundred times this figure.
In recent years, the Balkan countries with the exception of Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina have joined COST. Today, these countries are actively participating in nearly all the 200 running COST Actions. Thus, several hundred researchers from this region represent their countries in the Management Committees or are otherwise involved in the activities of the running Actions.
In the framework of the last Ministerial Conference held in 2003 in Dubrovnik, ministers responsible for COST agreed to strengthen cooperation with those countries of the Western Balkan which had not yet joined COST. The 'Near Neighbour Policy' of COST now also allows the financing of experts from the non-COST countries of this region.
For more information, in particular information related to the Actions, please visit the COST website.

Article published in eJournal winter 06/07.
Author: Günther Siegel, COST.

Entry created by Elke Dall on March 5, 2007
Modified on March 6, 2007