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European Cooperation in Science & Technology (COST)

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The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1971. It is the longest-running European funding framework for international cooperation in research and science across Europe.

COST provides support for the promotion of international cooperation and networking in the scientific and research community. The research networks established, called COST Actions, work within the same research field (and beyond). COST currently counts 38 members[1], including Greece, one of its founding members. Israel is a cooperating member. COST Actions are open to researchers from universities, public and private research institutes, as well as to non-governmental organizations, the industry and SMEs.

By Ministerial Decision adopted unanimously by all COST members government representatives, the COST Association, located in Brussels, was established on 19 September 2013 in order to provide the legal basis for the implementation of COST Actions under the current Horizon 2020 (H2020) European Framework Programme, among others.

COST actions are implemented through a number of networking activities such as meetings, working groups, conferences, one-day events, publications, short-term scientific missions and result dissemination activities. COST provides funding for all of the above activities through H2020. It does not fund research per se.

The COST mission consists in reducing fragmentation of European investment for research and in opening the European Research Area (ERA) to international cooperation. COST has a significant role in building the ERA, since it complements framework programme actions, increases researcher mobility and promotes scientific excellence in virtually all fields, without exceptions.

There are multiple benefits for Greek researchers participating in COST Actions. These include the value added through networking with groups/workshops of high scientific authority at the European level, the opportunity to access important additional data/infrastructures in order to successfully carry out scientific work, increased opportunities for postgraduate education, etc. It has repeatedly been proven that participation in COST Actions paves the way for access to other EU-funded programmes such as those under H2020.

Moreover, by focusing on a younger generation, COST: (a) makes it easier for young researchers to set up their own COST Actions, through its characteristic bottom-up approach and b) helps shape, often substantially, the professional future of young scientists. In 2017, Greek involvement in running actions reached a total of 339 participations (97% of total COST actions). Greek scientists received an amount of 895,000 euros through COST funding, and 627 Greek researchers were reimbursed under COST Actions. It must be noted that the amount contributed on a yearly basis by Greece for COST operating expenses is approximately 3,000 euros for the 2015-2020 period.

National participation in running Actions % (total number of running Actions in bracket)

  

Greek researchers wishing to participate in COST actions are advised to consult the COST website (http://www.cost.eu) for general information on COST actions.

Management of approved COST Actions and carrying out of scientific work is assigned to each action’s Management Committee (MC) comprising up to two regular members and two alternates from each member-state. In Greece, these members are nominated by the GSRT following an application of interested parties, as explained below.

 Submission of proposals for new COST actions:

A proposal for a new COST action must be submitted by a group of researchers representing entities from at least 7 different COST members. Proposals can be prepared and submitted online at any time (using e-COST online submission tool) with two predefined end dates. For instructions, please consult: http://www.cost.eu/participate/open_call. In addition, it must be noted that the new COST policy under H2020 attaches particular importance to the following aspects: a) participation by countries designated as “Inclusiveness Target Countries ITCs”,[2] i.e. countries with poor research and innovation performance; and b) whether proposal activities and operations are characterized by geographical, age and gender balance. If a proposal is approved, the interested researcher informs the GSRT and is given precedence in the designation of Management Committee members for the new Action.

COST National Coordinator /Representative: Georgia Kostopoulou

International Scientific & Technological Cooperation Directorate

European Union Department

COST National Coordinator for Greece                                          

Georgia Kostopoulou

Tel. no: 2131300100

g.kostopoulou@gsrt.gr
 

COST National Representative: Ioannis G. Bartzis

University of Western Macedonia

Depoartment of Mechanical Engineering

e-mail: bartzis@uowm.gr

 

 

 

 


[1] Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, The Netherlands, The Republic of North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Republic of North Macedonia.

[2] Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Turkey.

 

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