Terms of Reference of the COST Strategic Group on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoTech) as approved by the COST Senior Officials Committee, 10 - 11 April 2003

May 12, 2003

Brussels, 09 May 2003

Full text of Document 242/03
Suite of documents 242/03

Subject: Terms of Reference of the COST Strategic Group on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoTech) as approved by the COST Senior Officials Committee at its 153rd meeting on 10 - 11 April 2003

1. The Strategic Group on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoTech) is established for a period of one year, starting with the day of its first meeting.

The CSO shall decide whether to extend the mandate of the NanoTech for an additional period of time and, in that case, review these Terms of Reference.

2. The NanoTech shall report to the CSO at the end of its mandate. The report will serve as a basis for an assessment discussion at the Strategic Issues Group (SIG).

3. The NanoTech will elaborate a work programme for the period of the mandate.

4. The NanoTech will be composed of no more than 12 experts along the following lines

* one representative from the relevant COST Technical Committees (TCs);
* one expert from the European Science Foundation (ESF), EUREKA and the EU Framework Programme;
* prestigious Europe-based scientific experts.

Candidatures for NanoTech will be forwarded to the COST Secretariat by the National Coordinators and the CSO Bureau will decide on the final composition of the Group.

5. The NanoTech should build on existing experience, activities and structures within COST, e.g. the COST Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Advisory Group (NanoSTAG) and outside COST.

6. The NanoTech shall provide a strategy of COST interests in this multidisciplinary field of nanoscience and nanotechnology within the European Research Area (ERA) through:

* identifying emerging science-driven issues that would benefit from specific international co-operation, giving special attention to proposals from COST TCs and MCs;
* providing advice to TCs and MCs of COST and, where necessary, to the CSO and SIG on such emerging issues, and assisting existing domains in more effective delivery of interdisciplinary co-operation;
* promoting both scientific and organisational initiatives for interdisciplinary, multi-domain activities within the COST scheme, taking into account its bottom-up approach;
* promoting open fora, conferences and workshops related to nanotechnology;
* identifying possible links with other national and international organisations, networks and initiatives and their follow-up;
* cooperating with ESF, EUREKA and 6th Framework Programme on a regular basis in order to establish synergies and complementarities within the ERA, e.g. in the existing Commission's Interservice Group on Nanotechnology; and
* setting up a NanoTech website with links to websites of TCs and MCs of COST as well as to the Thematic Network NANOFORUM and its website www.nanoforum.org.

7. The Group itself should have no responsibility for promoting new COST Action proposals, or in any way replacing or duplicating the functions associated with the existing TCs. The principal mode of operation would be to assist existing structures and to adopt and promote new interdisciplinary Actions, by focusing on strategic issues in a horizontal fashion.

8. The results of the Strategic Group shall be made available to all COST Member States.

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