Founded in 1971, COST is an intergovernmental framework for European Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research, allowing the co-ordination of nationally funded research on a European level. COST Actions cover basic and pre-competitive research as well as activities of public utility.
The goal of COST is to ensure that Europe holds a strong position in the field of scientific and technical research for peaceful purposes, by increasing European co-operation and interaction in this field.
At the moment COST runs over 40 material research related actions and is still open for new ides. COST supports bottom-up approach and therefore there are no calls and no defined priorities in COST Actions.
COST also established the Strategic Group on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoTech). The NanoTech builds on existing experience, activities and structures within COST, e.g. the COST Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Advisory Group (NanoSTAG) and outside COST. The NanoTech will provide a strategy of COST interests in this multidisciplinary field of nanoscience and nanotechnology within the European Research Area (ERA).
COST has clearly shown its strength in non-competitive research, in pre-normative co-operation and in solving environmental and cross-border problems and problems of public utility. It has been successfully used to maximise European synergy and added value in research co-operation and it is a useful tool to further European integration, in particular concerning Central and Eastern European countries.