COST in review 2023


As we delve into some of the highlights of 2023, it becomes evident that this year has been testament to the open and collaborative spirit that define the essence of COST. It has been 12 months filled with connections, networking, events, trainings, opportunities seized, and just a touch of the unexpected.

The COST Action community really pulled out all the stops in 2023 and it’s incredible to see so much activity from our networks alongside increasing numbers of Action members & connections.

To put the figures into context the total number of COST Action members increased by 38% from 33,933 to 46,822 and the number of connections grew by 44% from 506,723 to 727,674 when compared to 2022. More than 500 additional Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs), 50 Training Schools, and 160 ITC conference grants were organised and awarded by COST Actions in 2023 versus 2022. These networks are alive and thriving!

The COST Academy was also very active in 2023. Through our in-house training programme we are equipping the COST community with the tools & skills they need to achieve their Action goals. Numerous new training opportunities were offered during the year to complement the existing portfolio such as ‘How to set up a Diamond Open Access Journal’, ‘How to achieve greater policy impact’, ‘WordPress for beginners’, ‘Social media for COST Action Chairs’, ‘Introduction to Science Diplomacy’, and ‘How to coordinate international research networks.’

70 new COST Actions were approved by COST’s Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) back in May and kicked off between September and November. These new research networks address many novel and interesting topics from the birth of the solar system, the future of plant-based food, histories of healthcare, how to solve bottlenecks in eel reproduction, and wireless networks for cyber security. Get a feeling of what it’s like to join the first Management Committee meeting of a new COST Action by watching our latest video. In addition, five COST Innovators Grants were also awarded to ending COST Actions that demonstrated significant innovation potential.

And at COST we always try to practise what we preach when it comes to communications. We provide stewardship to all COST Actions and their designated Science Communication Coordinators in order to support the best possible communication, dissemination, and exploitation of Action results. But we’re also very active animating our social media accounts (X, LinkedIn, Facebook), writing stories, producing videos, releasing new publications and studies, sending press releases, and producing our monthly newsletter to promote news and opportunities from the COST Programme and our COST Action networks.

And just like the R&I community we support, we don’t operate alone. Together with our partners in 2023 COST attended the Science Summit at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) in New York to co-organised the session ‘Breaking silos through global networking and international cooperation‘ with the U.S. National Science Foundation AccelNET Program, strengthened relations with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology to facilitate COST Actions applying for the EIT Jumpstarter scheme, extended our MoU with the Joint Research Centre for another 5 years to continue our joint ‘science for policy’ (S4P) initiatives, partnered with Conversations Unscripted to address the gender gap in science and technology, and showcased how COST Actions are contributing to United Nations objectives at the EU’s Delegation to the UN.

Thanks for your support and engagement in 2023 and here’s to even more connections, trainings, events, and opportunities for researchers and innovators in 2024!