Brussels, 01 May 2003
Subject: SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS 4th meeting of the COST Strategy Issues Group (SIG) held in Zürich on 21 March 2003
1. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The Group adopted the Agenda, as set out in Telex n° 1321 of 13 March 2003 with some changes concerning the order of items on the agenda.
2. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The Group approved the Summary of Conclusions of the SIG Meeting on 21 March 2003 as set out in doc. COST 223/03.
3. STRATEGY IN THE FIELD OF NANOSCIENCES AND NANOTECHNOLOGIES
The Chair presented the three options formulated by the previous SIG meeting on 7 March 2003 on how to continue COST involvement in the field of Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies:
- to propose to the next CSO to create a Nanotech strategic group;
- to agree on the continuation of strategic involvement of COST in NanoScience and Technology until the COST Office is operational;
- to postpone a decision awaiting the outcome of general evaluation of scientific domains.
The Group agreed to propose to the next CSO meeting the creation of a NanoStag Group with a new structure similar to that of the BioMat Group and a new mandate with a duration of one year. The continuation of the mandate would be re-evaluated in the light of the new working structure of COST.
4. ANY OTHER BUSINESS OF STRATEGIC INTEREST
- Cooperation with the neighbouring states of the EU after enlargement
Following conclusions of the recent European Council meetings1 the Commission has transmitted a communication to the Council and the European Parliament on " Wider Europe
­ Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours (doc COM(2003) 104 final).
The Group suggested a presentation by the relevant services of the Commission and the Council on this subject at one of the forthcoming CSO or SIG meetings.
In this context the Chair introduced the following proposals for discussion:
- to encourage the participants in COST Actions to apply for the funds as referred to as "Specific measures in support of international co-operation" in the 6th FP, whereas possible.
- to gradually include observers from the neighbouring countries to the TCs of COST.
- to use informal points of INTAS and EUREKA to inform about COST in the neighbouring countries.
During the ensuing discussion some delegations, while giving general support to the proposals, hesitated as to whether this was the proper time to tackle the issue taking into account the present transitional period and the difficulties in Community financial support.
The Chair concluded the discussion by inviting delegations to give further consideration to the proposals that would be taken up by SIG at a later stage. Delegations were also invited to consider the criteria for COST membership (e.g. using the membership in the Council of Europe as a basis).
5. DOMAIN RESTRUCTURING
The Commission representative briefly introduced a working paper entitled -Possible grouping of domains for review purposes - four proposed options" (Annex II).
The Chair concluded that the draft document would be an important item for the agenda of the next SIG meeting on 7 May 2003.
6. A STRATEGY FOR COST (COST 218/1/03 REV 1)
The draft COST strategy document was discussed by the JAF Group on 20 March.
List of participants