Since 1971 COST supports collaborative transnational activities under a system of networks of investigators based on open access and bottom-up principles, covering all scientific and technological domains. These networks, designated COST Actions, enable breakthrough scientific developments contributing to the Europe's leadership in RDI. Via its inclusiveness policy, and through the special emphasis given to young investigators, COST is a unique means to European investigators to foster their ideas and initiatives openly, freely, and through collaborative efforts. COST promotes the integration and development of a myriad of scientific communities, maximising the national investment in RDI, and contributing decisively to the defragmentation of knowledge in Europe.
COST Actions are based on an intergovernmental framework of cooperation that is presently comprised by 36 member countries and 1 cooperating state). Institutions from non-member states are also eligible to participate in COST Actions. The financial support provided by COST covers the cost of the coordination of these networks of investigators. Currently, more than 200 COST Actions are open, involving circa 50.000 investigators.
Please consult the documents in the sidebar:
The support given covers: meetings (travelling, daily allowances, local organisation support, for example), conferences, workshops, short term scientific meetings, advanced training activities, publications, and dissemination activities. COST does not fund research itself (equipment, human resources, consumables), as research is funded through other mechanisms. The financial administration of the COST Action is assured by the Grant Holder Institution (decided during the kick-off Management Committee meeting), based on a reimbursement system. As reference, a COST Action involving 20 countries will have an approximate annual budget of 130.000 euros for developing and implementing its activities.