COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020
Growing ideas through networks
The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is a funding organisation for the creation of research networks, called COST Actions. These networks offer an open space for collaboration among scientists across Europe (and beyond) and thereby give impetus to research advancements and innovation.
COST is bottom up, this means that researchers can create a network – based on their own research interests and ideas – by submitting a proposal to the COST Open Call. The proposal can be in any science field. COST Actions are highly interdisciplinary and open. It is possible to join ongoing Actions, which therefore keep expanding over the funding period of four years. They are multi-stakeholder, often involving the private sector, policymakers as well as civil society.
Since 1971, COST receives EU funding under the various research and innovation framework programmes, such as Horizon 2020.
COST funding intends to complement national research funds, as they are exclusively dedicated to cover collaboration activities, such as workshops, conferences, working group meetings, training schools, short-term scientific missions, and dissemination and communication activities.
The COST Association places emphasis on actively involving researchers from less research-intensive COST Countries (Inclusiveness Target Countries, ITC). Researchers from Near Neighbour Countries and International Partner Countries can also take part in COST Actions, based on mutual benefit.
The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is an EU-funded, intergovernmental framework with currently 38 Members and 1 Cooperating Member. It has, therefore, a strong reach beyond the European Union. Its main objective is to manage the COST Open Call, dedicated to the creation of pan-European research networks in all science fields.
The COST Association, an international not-for-profit association under Belgian law, is located in Brussels and carries out all activities related to this Open Call. The COST Association integrates governance, management, and implementation functions into a single structure.
What are COST Actions?
Since its inception, COST has operated according to one main instrument, the COST Action.
COST Action is a network dedicated to scientific collaboration, complementing national research funds. COST Actions are:
- open to researchers and innovators;
- collaborating in a field of science and technology of common interest to at least seven COST Members/Cooperating Members;
- based on a joint work programme lasting four years;
- answering to the COST Open Call for proposals.
A COST Action is open to all:
- science and technology fields (including trans-, and interdisciplinary, new and emerging fields);
- institutions (academia, public institutions, SME/industry, NGO, European/international organisations, etc.);
- career stages (both young and experienced);
- COST Members
Some of these actions are strictly related to buildings. Some examples of actions are: Building on scientific literacy in evolution towards scientifically responsible Europeans or Innovation in Intelligent Management of Heritage Buildings (i2MHB).