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.
A COST Action is a science and technology network funded over a four-year duration which requires the participation of at least seven different COST Full Members or Cooperating Members. An Action is organised through a range of networking tools which are performed for the purpose of supporting and ultimately achieving research coordination and capacity building objectives as set out in each Action’s Memorandum of Understanding.
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.