An online COST Info Day dedicated to researchers and innovators from Cyprus was organised on the 2nd of June to inform them on the networking opportunities provided by COST Association. The session was followed by more than 70 participants and was marked by the introductions of Mr Theodoros Loukaidis, Director General of the Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) which organised the session, alongside Dr Ronald de Bruin, Director of COST Association, and by the presentations of Cyprus Delegates who gave testimonials of their participation in COST Actions.
Cyprus participation in COST over the years
The online Cyprus COST Info Day was opened by Mr Loukaidis who remembered Cyprus’ rich History with COST: “Cyprus has been participating in COST as a full member since 1999. As an Inclusiveness Target Country (ITC) island at the edge of the European Union territory, COST has been a crucial element to us from the very beginning”, he said. Mr Loukaidis also explained that Cyprus’s participation in COST Actions has considerably increased over the years, going from 25% to 59% between 2012 and 2019. “We are also very proud that out of the 40 Actions that were launched last week, Cypriots scientists are involved in 19 of them. COST leaves no one behind”, he concluded.
Dr Ronald de Bruin underlined the strong existing links between the COST Association and the Cypriot community: “It is a really a pleasure to be virtually with you here in Cyprus”, he started. “You are, as a matter of fact, a number one country in COST. Indeed, 50% of the Cypriot scientific community participates in COST Actions”. Dr de Bruin also pointed out that COST Association, as an entry-point for research and innovation, really is “a bridge to scientific collaboration from whenever you are”, and thus thanks to training schools, Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs) or other Networking tools. “COST is also a steppingstone to build your experience and to further develop it”, he concluded.
Joining a COST Actions
After the introductions, attendees were presented relevant information by COST’s Team on how to get involved in a COST Action (as a participant or a proposer of an Action, as an expert to evaluate submitted proposals or as a rapporteur to monitor the Actions), by Dr Deniz Karaca, Science Officer, and on how to prepare a COST proposal, by Mr Christer Halen, Senior Administrator. The team also reminded that COST is the longest-running pan-European intergovernmental framework fully dedicated to research networking activities and that it is open to all fields of Science and Technology, to all partners, to all career stages and to all countries.
Presentations by COST’s Team were also punctuated by live polls which gave very interesting data to the organisers about the Cyprus Info Day’s participants: for instance, 64% of them have never been involved in a COST Action before, making it more relevant than ever.
From letf to right: Katerina Karakasidou, Christer, Radka, Theorodos Loukaidis, Kalypso Sepou, Deniz, Dr Margarita Zachariou, Dr Argyro Tsipa et Dr Evridiki Papastavrou
Testimonial from Cypriots’ COST Actions Participants
The online webinar continued with the testimonials of three COST Action’s participants and delegates from Cyprus: Dr Argyro Tsipa, Early Career Investigator, Dr Evridiki Papastavrou, Main Proposer and Action Chair, and Dr Margarita Zachariou, Cyprus COST Action Delegate. They shared their experience, gave hints and tips for proposal submission and participation with the audience, and explained the benefits in joining a COST Action.
Dr Tsipa (Work Group 2 leader of COST Action “Protection, Resilience, Rehabilitation of damaged environment”) kicked-off the testimonials by highlighting that “in just a few months I have met many researchers from all over Europe really making me feel connected with my research field community. I really encourage all of you to participate. (…) It is an opportunity to talk about your research, to explain it and to present yourself, as well as to extend your network”.
Then, Dr Evridiki Papastavrou shared a presentation of her experience as Action Chair of COST Action “Rationing – Missed Nursing care: An international and multidimensional problem” and underlined the three pillars which made her Action a success: Excellence, Impact and Implementation.
Finally, Dr Margarita Zachariou (Cyprus Representative in the Management Committee of COST Action “Mathematics for industry network (MI-NET)”), after having shared her role in the Mi-Net Action, gave advice to all Cyprus Info Day participants: “Try and pick a COST Action that fits you well and join it if you really plan to be present, to be involved in Working Groups or in Meetings for instance. This makes the difference”. She concluded by saying: “Be active and proactive. It is good to take initiatives and not to wait for invitation to arrive in your mailbox”.
The Info Day ended with Q&A which were answered by COST’s Team and representative of the Research and Innovation Foundation.
Facts about Cyprus’ involvement in COST
Cyprus has been a member of the COST Association since 1999. In the last few years, Cyprus’ participation in Actions has increased as well as its leadership positions in COST Actions. Indeed, Cyprus is involved in 59% of COST ongoing Actions. If you want to learn more about Cyprus’ involvement in COST, click here.
Find Cyprus Info Day’s presentation here.
Find Cyprus Info Day’s program here.