Formed in 1971, the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) initiative is an intergovernmental framework fostering European research through the funding of research networking. While COST does not fund research directly, the networking is intended to develop capacity and assist early-stage researchers, and it increases research impact on policymakers. The EU-funded COST II (Provision of scientific, technical and administrative management of COST) project administered the COST II grant agreement. The agreement came into effect in 2007, and has since been annually renewed. As of December 2014, the administration included over 300 COST Actions (research projects), the COST Grant System, plus support of various panels, committees and bodies. Being an administrative project, COST II did not as such produce research results. The project's final review concluded that the undertaking had a positive effect on scientific outcomes. The COST Office organised numerous events and contributed to several publications. The project, particularly through the COST Action Management Committee, promoted open access and increased worldwide visibility of COST Actions and European research and development generally. The Committee also ensured that the project's actions complied with national, European and international legislation, while also protecting participants' interests, including intellectual property rights. Project partners monitored and assessed all COST Actions, managed calls for submissions and managed a 2014 COST Impact Study. Research detailed the programme's impacts in four areas: networking and network building; capacity building; structuring and agenda setting; and the wider economy and society. COST II successfully managed the COST programme. European research thus continues to benefit through the networking the programme fosters.
Research networks, European Cooperation in Science and Technology, research networking, research impact, capacity building