European Co-operation in Science and Technology (COST) has approved a strategy for a stronger position of research networks in Framework Programme 9 – the EU’s successor to Horizon 2020.
COST’s governing board, the Committee of Senior Officials, chaired by COST President Professor Dr Sierd Cloetingh, in the presence of Director General Robert-Jan Smits (DG Research and Innovation, European Commission) approved the strategy that will drive COST through to the end of Horizon 2020 and beyond.
Cloetingh said: “By approving this Strategic Plan, COST demonstrates the ambition to be in the heart of the European Research Area (ERA). COST is fully committed to continue serving as the open leading networking tool in the ERA, currently engaging 50,000 researchers and innovators.
“Through the priorities set in this Strategic Plan and with an increased budget, COST will bridge the innovation divide.
“Our strategy will increase access to research funding schemes for all researchers, including those from less research-intensive countries”
COST will focus on three priorities, promoting and spreading excellent research, fostering interdisciplinary research for breakthrough science, and empowering and retaining young researchers and innovators.
COST requests a budget of €600m for FP9. This translates into 75 funded Actions per Open Call and 625 running networks a year, more than doubling the current figure.
With this Strategic Plan, COST responds to the needs of the research and innovation community and harnesses on its vital role as pre-portal to other parts of the ERA.