Prof. John Jones
Scottish Crop Research Institute
Plant Pathology Invergowrie
DD2 5DA Dundee
Prof. Dr. Godelieve Gheysen Ghent University Molecular Biotechnology Coupure links 653 9000 Ghent Belgium
Prof. Dr. Carmen Fenoll
Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
Avda. Carlos III. s/n
ISBN 978-94-007-0433-6 e-ISBN 978-94-007-0434-3
Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011921325
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COST—the acronym for European Cooperation in Science and Technology—is the oldest and widest European intergovernmental network for cooperation in research. Established by the Ministerial Conference in November 1971, COST is presently used by the scientific communities of 35 European countries to cooperate in common research projects supported by national funds.
The funds provided by COST—less than 1% of the total value of the projects— support the COST cooperation networks (COST Actions) through which, with EUR 30 million per year, more than 30,000 European scientists are involved in research having a total value which exceeds EUR 2 billion per year. This is the financial worth of the European added value which COST achieves.
A "bottom up approach" (the initiative of launching a COST Action comes from the European scientists themselves), "à la carte participation" (only countries interested in the Action participate), "equality of access" (participation is open also to the scientific communities of countries not belonging to the European Union) and "flexible structure" (easy implementation and light management of the research initiatives) are the main characteristics of COST.
As precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research COST has a very important role for the realisation of the European Research Area (ERA) anticipating and complementing the activities of the Framework Programmes, constituting a "bridge" towards the scientific communities of emerging countries, increasing the mobility of researchers across Europe and fostering the establishment of "Networks of Excellence" in many key scientific domains such as: Biomedicine and Molecular Biosciences; Food and Agriculture; Forests, their Products and Services; Materials, Physical and Nanosciences; Chemistry and Molecular Sciences and Technologies; Earth System Science and Environmental Management; Information and Communication Technologies; Transport and Urban Development; Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health. It covers basic and more applied research and also addresses issues of pre-normative nature or of societal importance.
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