Foreword from the Director of the COST Association

Ronald de Bruin

COST has long been, and remains today, one of the largest frameworks for transnational research collaboration in Europe. Since its creation in 1971, about half a million researchers have participated in the programme. Each COST networking activity had been designed to enable brain circulation long before the term even existed. Despite its long history, COST has never been so topical.

Sharing and spreading knowledge across scientific disciplines, countries and sectors advances ideas as much as it creates opportunities for people. One of COST’s strategic priorities is to help young researchers and innovators to grow professionally. For them, training schools, ITC conference grants and short-term scientific missions (STSMs) are powerful tools.

One of COST’s strategic priorities is to help young researchers and innovators to grow professionally.

In 2019, COST funded 2100 STSMs, 210 training schools and 544 conference grants for young researchers from Inclusiveness Target Countries. The numbers give some idea about the financial and administrative commitment behind the management of the programme.

For several years now, COST has systematically placed the researcher at the centre of its attention. To better empower researchers, innovators, and science administrators, initiatives such as the COST Connect stakeholder events and the COST Academy were launched. These are extremely popular among the COST community because they meet genuine needs.

As part of the COST stewardship culture, we accompany Actions closely and help them perform at their best. We support the researchers in building solid networks that outlive the Action in which they participate. An impact study conducted in 2019 revealed that 37% of post-Action proposals submitted for collaborative research under Horizon 2020 were successful.

I am very proud to contribute to a programme that is so impactful and to help shape the organisation behind the programme to achieve an even better circulation of both ideas and people across Europe.

I hope you will enjoy reading our success stories which illustrate in a tangible way what I have mentioned above.

Dr Ronald de Bruin

Director of the COST Association