Record number of research projects outlined at December meeting of COST officials

January 10, 2002

Brussels, 8 January 2002

European Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research. 146th Meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials for Scientific and Technical Research (COST). Brussels, 14 December 2001 (document COST 318/01 (Presse 491). Full text

With a record number of Actions, this week's COST Senior Officials has driven European Cooperation in scientific and technical research to a new record high. With presently 169 COST Actions in force, the adoption of eight new Actions will drive the total number to 177. During the entire year of 2001, the Senior Officials Committee has given the green light to a total of 36 new COST Actions.

COST gets serious with Biomaterials

Embracing a
- need for and interest in fostering the science of biomaterials,
- a need to improve co-ordination in biomaterials, and
- a need to reduce barriers to interdisciplinary and cross border collaboration between all domains with an interest in biomaterials,

the Senior Officials Committee created an Ad-hoc Working Group on Biomaterials.

The Working Group shall include up to ten noted experts in the field and work for a short period (max. one year) on
* the Identification of emerging science-driven issues which would benefit from specific international co-operation, and the
* Provision of advice to the Technical Committees of COST and, where necessary, the CSO on such emerging issues.

Biomaterials are materials used in medical devices or materials otherwise in contact with living tissue.

Senior Officials give green light to three Technical Committees to keep working

The Senior Officials gave a green light to three Technical Committees to continue their work, namely the Technical Committees on
- Forestry and Forestry Products
- Chemistry
- Telecommunications and Information Society

Technical Committees follow the implementation of Actions in their domain and ensure coordination with other ongoing activities in and outside COST. In identifying new Actions, the Technical Committees pay particular attention to the question of whether such Actions have an innovative character and a high scientific standard and/or contribute sufficiently to the concertation of research effects in the domain of the Technical Committee.

COST launches 8 new Actions

The Committee agreed to the launching of the following eight new Actions:

(a) Environment - COST 633: Particulate matter: properties and health effects
The main objective of the Action is to increase the information on the particulate matter (PM) characteristics throughout Europe, describing the PM-system with respect to geographical and meteorological conditions, particle formation processes and their transport. The results will be used for setting environmental standards in Europe and for defining measures to reduce the particle emission.

(b) Meteorology - COST 723: The role of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere in global change
The main objective of the Action is to advance the understanding of the state of the global upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, and the role of the dynamical, chemical, and radiative processes in this altitude region, in order to provide an improved basis for policy advice in connection with global change.

(c) Agriculture and Biotechnology - COST 854: Protozoal reproduction losses in farm ruminants
The main objective of the Action is to develop strategies to control reproductive diseases caused by protozoa in farm ruminants.

(d) Food Science - COST 921: Food matrices: structural organisation and impact on flavour release and perception
The main objective of the Action is to understand the impact of the structural organisation of food matrices as well as their changes during mastication on flavour release and flavour perception.

COST 923: HiTech egg research
The main objective of the Action is to find new uses of hen egg in order to exploit the outputs even beyond the traditional food value of eggs, including biomedicals, nutraceuticals and ovo-biotechnologies.

(e) Urban Civil Engineering - COST C17: Fire loss to historic buildings
The main objective of the Action is the definition at European level of the degree of loss to the Built Heritage to the effects of fire and for the proposal of remedial actions and recommendations to combat such loss, using minimal invasive techniques.

(f) Forestry - COST E29:Innovative timber and composite elements/ components for buildings
The main objective of this Action is to facilitate efficient co-operation in the conduct of research and in the exchange of information between interested parties in the European countries concerning development and manufacture of innovative timber and composite elements/components used in the construction of buildings.

COST E30:Economic integration of urban consumers' demand and rural forestry production
The main objective of the Action is to gain better understanding on the problems and possible solutions in forest based entrepreneurship leading to improved employment and income in rural areas at the European level.

World wide interest to participate in COST Actions

COST actions are attracting the interest of researchers far beyond its now 34 European Member States. For the first time ever, the participation of a scientific institute from the African state of Eritrea was approved.

Further, upon applications received from 14 scientific institutes from Canada, Russia, the USA, and international bodies such as Rheva (a non-governmental organization based in Belgium), the Committee agreed to the following requests for participation in individual COST Actions:

COST 4: Theory and applications of relational structures as knowledge instruments
- Laval University, Canada
- Brock University, Canada
- Montreal University, Canada
- St. Francis Xavier University, Canada

COST 280: Propagation and impairment mitigation for millimetre wave radio systems
- Institute of Radioengineering and Electronics, Russian Academy of Sciences
- Radio Research and Development Institute, Russia
- Vladimir State University, Russia
- Communications Research Centre, Canada

COST 342: Parking policy measures and their effects on mobility and the economy
- National Parking Association, Washington DC, USA
- International Parking Institute, Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA

COST 845: Brucellosis in man and animals
- College of Agriculture and Aquatic Sciences, University of Asmara, Eritrea

COST 850: Bio-control symbiosis - symbiotic complexes for biological control of pests
- Department of Parasitology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

COST C13: Glass and interactive buildings envelopes
- Laurence Berkley Laboratory, California, USA

COST G3: Industrial ventilation
- Rheva, Non-Governmental Organisation based in Belgium

COST extended Action duration
For two Actions, the Senior Officials Committee agreed to an extension of the duration:
COST 345: Procedures required for assessing highway structures (eight months)
COST 832: Quantifying the agricultural contribution to eutrophication (twelve months)

Next CSO meeting in Brussels

The 147th Meeting of the Senior Officials Committee will take place in Brussels on 7/8 March 2002.

For further information call the COST Secretariat at 00-32-2-285.68.96/79.14.

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