COST - European Cooperation in Science & Technology

COST is an intergovernmental framework, for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. Enterprise Ireland manages Ireland’s national membership of COST.

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 cooperation and interaction in this field. This research initiative makes it possible for the various national facilities, institutes, universities and private industry to work jointly on a wide range of Research and Development (R&D) activities.

COST key features are:

  • building capacity by connecting high-quality scientific communities throughout Europe and worldwide;
  • providing networking opportunities for early career investigators;
  • increasing the impact of research on policy makers, regulatory bodies and national decision makers as well as the private sector.

Through its inclusiveness, COST supports integration of research communities, leverages national research investments and addresses issues of global relevance.

As a precursor of advanced multidisciplinary research, COST plays a very important role in building a European Research Area (ERA).

It anticipates and complements the activities of the EU Framework Programmes, constituting a “bridge” towards the scientific communities of COST Inclusiveness Target Countries. It also increases the mobility of researchers across Europe and fosters the establishment of scientific excellence.


COST Project/Actions

COST projects or “Actions” are networks centred around nationally funded research projects in fields that are of interest to at least five COST countries.  The Actions are open to all researchers (industrial and academic).  The participation of young researchers is encouraged as is participation from non-COST countries. 

COST does not directly fund any research but provides support to coordinate projects.  COST is supported by the  EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.The funding is provided via a yearly grant agreement to support networking activities such as: meetings, workshops, conferences; short term scientific mission; training schools; and publications. 

Typically, Actions run for 4 years and have an average budget of €129,000 per annum, depending on the number of COST Countries participating in the Action.

In 2015, there were 347 COST Actions running and Ireland participated in 80% of these (278 Actions).


How do I get involved?

Scientists and researchers from the 36 COST Member Countries and the Cooperating State can participate in science and technology networks known as COST Actions by:

  • submitting a proposal for a new COST Action
  • joining an existing COST Action
  • becoming a COST External Expert

The COST Open Call allows for the submission of proposals (one-stage submission process) on a continuous basis using a dedicated secured online tool. Proposals are gathered at a Collection Date, those submitted after that date will be considered for the upcoming collection.  For further details of existing COST Actions, or to submit a proposal, visit the COST website.


Key contact/further information

If you are interested in submitting a COST Action proposal, or in participating in a current COST Action, please contact:

David Flood

COST National Coordinator

Enterprise Ireland

David Flood 

+353 86 8372832