COST is the oldest (founded in 1971) and widest, European intergovernmental framework for trans European Cooperation in Science and Technology. COST Actions are held for four years. Each action is coordinated, implemented, managed and supervised by the action MC Committee. Each Action MC member represents the COST Member for which they were nominated by the COST National Coordinator, regardless of their nationality.
The COST Association brings tougether 37 Member States (+ 1 Cooperating state), and coordiantes over 300 Actions, wich are inter- and transdisciplinary from broad range of scientific fields. The COST Association integrates: COST governance, management and implementation functions.
COST mission: Enabling breakthrough scientific developments leading to new concepts and products and thereby contributing to strengthening Europe’s research and innovation capacities.
The principles of the COST Association are:
1) the bottom-up approach; 2) ‘A la carte’, flexible participation; 3) inclusiveness and excellence; 4) acceptance of all partners, all career stages, and all countries; 5) excellence in science and technology; 6) support for Early Career Investigators (ECIs); and 7) use of COST funding to leverage funding from nationally and regionally funded projects.
A COST action can be described as a network of researchers with nationally funded research working together to achieve the objectives & deliverables of Moratorium of Understanding (MoU) (through an implementation of COST Policy) and create impact (dissemination & exploitation of results) for no more than four years (grant period). The representatives can come from each COST Member participating in the Action. COST Actions may also include representatives from non COST Countries (i.e. USA, Canada and China) called MC Observers.