Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


COST - the acronym for European cooperation in the field of scientific and technical research - is the oldest and widest European intergovernmental network for cooperation in research. Established by the Ministerial Conference in November 1971, COST is currently used by the scientific communities of 35 European countries to cooperate in common research projects supported by national funds. The funds provided by COST - less than 1 % of the total value of the projects - support the COST cooperation networks (COST actions), through which, with only around EUR 20 million per year, more than 30 000 European scientists are involved in research having a total value which exceeds EUR 2 billion per year. This is the financial worth of the European added value which COST achieves. A ‘bottom up’ approach (the initiative of launching a COST action comes from the European scientists themselves), ‘à la carte participation’ (only countries interested in the action participate), ‘equality of access’ (participation is open also to the scientific communities of countries not belonging to the European Union) and ‘flexible structure’ (easy implementation and light management of the research initiatives) are the main characteristics of COST. As precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research, COST has a very important role for the realisation of the European research area (ERA), anticipating and complementing the activities of the framework programmes, constituting a ‘bridge’ towards the scientific communities of emerging countries, increasing the mobility of researchers across Europe and fostering the establishment of ‘networks of excellence’ in many key scientific domains, such as physics, chemistry, telecommunications and information science, nanotechnologies, meteorology, environment, medicine and health, forests, agriculture and social sciences. It covers basic and more applied research and also addresses issues of pre-normative nature or of societal importance.

Additional information

Authors: No Author started, European Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 21956 EN (2006), 100 pp. Free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: QS-NA-21956-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN: 92-898-0019-4
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