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Press release

COST celebrates 50 years of scientific and technological cooperation between researchers

Portuguese Presidency of COST

04 May · 16h00

Press release

The COST 2021 Ministerial Declaration is to be released this Tuesday, 4 May, during the Ministerial Conference marking the 50th anniversary of the intergovernmental organisation, COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). Taking part in the conference will be the Portuguese Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and the Portuguese President of COST, Paulo Ferrão.

Through their adoption of the declaration, the COST member countries have reinforced their support for the promotion of bottom-up networks that are open, inclusive and global, aimed at a renewed and strengthened European Research Area, in accordance with the plan outlined by the European Commission in September of last year and signed by Portugal. The plan defines the reinforcement of European funding for research and innovation activities, earmarking 1.25% of its gross domestic product for these areas in 2030.

Over this half a century, COST has been vital to the funding of networks of researchers in all scientific and technological areas. Since its creation, it has involved half a million scientists in both European and international collaborative activities, fostering greater development of scientific knowledge and the strengthening of Europe as a leader in research and technological development.

Portugal’s participation in COST has proved significant, giving its national researchers global reach and bringing growth and improvements to the national research system.

Between 2015 and 2019, Portugal took part in 227 of the 291 proposals approved for funding (78%). Almost 18,000 researchers (10% of whom were working in Portugal) of 74 different nationalities benefited directly from activities organised by Portugal through COST, representing funding of EUR 14 million.

In relation to external mobility, almost 9500 researchers engaged in scientific activities in Portugal benefited directly from activities organised by other countries, representing funding of over EUR 8 million.
Since the beginning of the Horizon 2020 programme, Portugal has played host to an average of 2500 researchers per year, while 1500 researchers based in Portuguese institutions have benefited from COST funding. With regard to short-term mobility, there has been a positive flow of around 1000 researchers per year.

For more information on the 50 years of COST, see the website devoted to celebrating this milestone that is so important for the reinforcement of European research and innovation networks.