24 July 2014 | General
COST at a turning point: The COST Association and the European Commission sign the COST Horizon 2020 Framework Partnership Agreement

The COST Association and the European Commission signed today a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) for a new period of seven years for the COST intergovernmental framework operation during the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020.

This agreement acknowledges the role that COST will play in Horizon 2020, given its contribution to strengthening Europe’s research and innovation capacities. Particularly, COST will dedicate 50% of its overall budget to activities involving researchers from Inclusiveness Target Countries . Especially by fully developing and implementing its Inclusiveness Policy , COST aims to increase such researchers’ participation in COST Actions and activities, in relation to the European Commission’s approach to widening participation. 

COST Actions feature three key principles: openness, excellence and inclusiveness, achieved by fostering new ideas, sharing knowledge and an output orientation. This is how COST has managed to make significant contributions to the competitiveness and the overall development of the European research landscape, thus contributing to Europe’s Innovation Union goals. 

The FPA comes in response to two major challenges of Horizon 2020, namely Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies and Spreading Excellence and widening participation. In both cases, COST is referred to as a key contributor to the Programme strategic objectives, given its support particularly towards pan-European cooperation in science and technology.

The objectives that COST has set forth in order to help tackle these challenges while fulfilling its mission are as follows:

  • Joining research efforts and developing common S&T programmes by coordinating nationally funded research activities led by pan-European, high quality, collaborative S&T networks;
  • Building capacity by providing networking and leadership opportunities for emerging talents and thereby strengthening and building up excellent S&T communities;
  • Addressing societal questions by promoting trans-disciplinary, new approaches and topics and identifying early warnings of unforeseen societal problems aiming at contributing to Societal Challenges;
  • Strengthening the COST Inclusiveness Policy by fostering better access and integration for researchers from less research-intensive countries into the knowledge hubs of the European Research Area aiming at contributing to the Widening Pillar of Horizon 2020. 

COST has traditionally drawn its funding from the EU Framework Programmes, at the request of the EU Member States and with the approval of the European Parliament. The COST Member Countries have been taking a comprehensive series of measures enabling COST to enter a new European context especially marked by Horizon 2020. The COST Association launch in 2013 was a significant transition step meant to provide COST with a dedicated legal structure ensuring efficient, sound, lean and cost-effective management, thus acting in the best interest of the European research communities. More precisely, this implies further developing the COST policy focused on light administration and working towards simplified procedures and user-friendly IT tools for prospective applicants, as well as for researchers already benefiting from COST funding.

For more information on the COST mission, strategy and organisation, please visit the COST website: www.cost.eu/about_cost .

For media enquiries about this item and on COST’s transition towards Horizon 2020 please contact communications@cost.eu .

A European Commission press release can be found here .

* Inclusiveness Target Countries include: Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Republic of Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey.

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