Brussels, 01 Oct 2003
The European Science Foundation (ESF) has signed a contract with the European Commission to provide the secretariat and administrative, technical and scientific management for COST (European cooperation in science and technology).
Established in 1971, COST is an intergovernmental programme designed to promote research collaboration in Europe. The decision to transfer the secretariat from the Commission to ESF was made in 2002, when a memorandum of understanding between the two organisations was agreed.
Under the Sixth Framework Programme, there is specific provision for COST activities of between 50 and 80 million euro over four years. The new contract provides for an initial 22 million euro budget until the end of 2004.
Professor Enric Banda, Secretary General of ESF, welcomed the agreement by saying: 'The coming together of the two principal research networking organisations in Europe is good for European researchers and for both organisations. [...] It allows us to develop close working relations, not only between ESF and COST, but also with the other activities of the Framework Programme.'
The chairperson of the COST committee of senior officials, Gösta Diehl, said: 'I very much welcome this agreement. After a long period of uncertainty, COST has emerged as a strong and vigorous structure for the promotion of European research.'
Finally, Professor Banda announced that the new COST office will be located in Brussels, and Tony Mayer has been appointed as its acting head.
For further information on COST, please consult the following web address: