Delegates acknowledged the progress that COST has made since the last Ministerial conference in Palma de Mallorca (2010), particularly the creation of an independent COST Association, a new scientific organisation and evaluation process.
Government representatives discussed challenges in science and the opportunities for COST, in view of the next framework programme. They acknowledged the strong benefits for researchers and the impact on capacity building.
The Slovak Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Peter Plav?an, highlighted: COST represents a very important tool for Slovak young researchers too, because it opens them the space for international collaboration, which became the priority of the ongoing Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
One of COSTs strategic goals for the future is becoming the European Research Areas leading open networking tool, by creating spaces for researchers to connect and share knowledge in an open and bottom-up manner.
The President of the COST Association, Dr Ángeles Rodríguez Peña, stated: Networking is a key tool for research cooperation and will be even more so in the future. COST will build on its strengths, and on its nearly 50 years experience. Through new means and strategies, it will continue creating unlimited spaces where cross-overs between ideas and people can change the world for the better.
By endorsing the Ministerial Declaration, national delegates committed to offering ongoing and increased national support for the programme beyond Horizon 2020, the current funding period.