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A mid-term evaluation report of the Seventh Framework Programme’s (FP7) European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) initiative has recently been released. COST’s FP6 Evaluation, as well as the FP7 grant agreement between the European Scientific Foundation (ESF) and the European Commission, spelled out several recommendations for the further development of COST. The purpose of this mid-term evaluation was to investigate the extent to which these recommendations have been implemented. Furthermore, the panel of independent experts responsible for the evaluation provide updated recommendations for the remainder of the FP7 programme.
Overall, the panel found that the ESF-COST office and the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) are proceeding well in the implementation of previous recommendations. Among the new recommendations regarding the further development of COST is the creation of a dynamic networking tool. This instrument would serve multiple purposes: reducing isolation and enhancing communication within the European Research Area (ERA), identifying and achieving synergies in a diverse research landscape as well as building critical mass of common research efforts.
The full version of the report can be downloaded from the European Commission’s website.