Fabian Demicoli

COST: European Cooperation in Science and Technology

COST has a very specific mission and goal. It contributes to
reducing the fragmentation in European research investments and opening the
European Research Area to cooperation worldwide.

As a precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research,
COST plays a very important role in building a European Research Area (ERA). It
anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes,
constituting a "bridge" towards the scientific communities of emerging
countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe and
fosters the establishment of scientific excellence in the nine key domains:

Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences

Food and

Forests, their
Products and Services

Physics and Nanosciences

Chemistry and
Molecular Sciences and Technologies

Earth System
Science and Environmental Management

Information and
Communication Technologies

Transport and
Urban Development

Societies, Cultures and Health

How COST works

COST funds pan-European, bottom-up networks of scientists and
researchers across all science and technology fields. These networks, called
'COST Actions', promote international coordination of nationally-funded

COST does not fund research itself, but provides support for
networking activities carried out within COST Actions. COST Actions are
bottom-up science and technology networks open to researchers and stakeholders,
with a four-year duration and a minimum participation of five COST Countries.

COST Actions are active through a range of networking tools,
such as meetings, workshops, conferences, training schools, short-term
scientific missions (STSMs) and dissemination activities. COST Actions are open
to researchers from universities, public and private research institutions, as
well as to NGOs, industry and SMEs. To learn more about participating in COST Actions,
please visit the Participate page.

COST invites researchers throughout Europe to submit
proposals for COST Actions through a continuous Open Call. The two collection
dates a year are announced in the Official Journal of the European Union and on
the COST Website. Following a thorough evaluation and selection process, the
decision for funding a proposal is taken by the COST Committee of Senior
Officials (CSO) within eight months from the collection date. Successful
proposals are approved to become COST Actions and can expect to ‘kick-off'
within three months thereafter. For more information on how to submit a
proposal for a COST Action, please visit the Open Call page.

Proposals for COST Actions can be submitted in one of the
COST Scientific Domains. Highly interdisciplinary proposals that cover several
scientific Domains can be submitted through the COST Trans-Domain (TD) Pilot.

Researchers can also apply to join an existing COST Action.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) provides the formal basis
for COST Action. The proposal for a new Action must fulfill certain formal and
qualitative criteria, and if the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) approves
the MoU, the COST countries wishing to take part in the Action can agree to it.
A COST Action is launched when at least five COST member states have agreed the
MoU and starts with the first Management Committee meeting of the Action. It
runs for an average of four years.

COST Actions are open to international cooperation, by also
allowing the participation of researchers from Near Neighbour Countries and
International Partner Countries on the basis of mutual benefit. In addition,
COST has signed Reciprocal Agreements with Argentina, New Zealand and South
Africa as a pilot exercise to facilitate cooperation with researchers from
these countries.


How can COST help unlock SMEs'
innovation potential?

COST Actions connect researchers from universities,
institutions, with participants from the private sector. COST already has a
substantial number of SMEs participating in COST Actions working on issues that
range from environmental issues to nanotechnology.

COST aims at promoting SME participation in COST Actions.
This also through opportunities provided to SMEs by EU funding, the vital role
of networking, the need for knowledge exchange and transfer and the key
position of SMEs.

SME representatives can participate in COST Actions in two
ways: they can, within a network of proposers, submit a proposal for a COST
Action; alternatively, they can join an existing COST Action.

COST operates a continuous Open Call for Proposals, with
collection dates twice a year: in March and September. To learn more about the
COST Open Call and Collection Dates, please visit: http://www.cost.eu/participate/open_call.

In order to submit a proposal for a new COST Action,
researchers or experts in a science and technology field have to gather and
coordinate a network of at least five proposers affiliated with legal entities
based in at least five different COST Countries.

SMEs can also apply to join an existing COST action in a
subject which interests them.

What we can do for you










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