Two initiatives kicked off in 2017 as part of the Strategic Plan: the COST Connect and the COST Academy.

The COST Connect are a series of thematic multi-stakeholder workshops providing an open space for researchers from COST Actions, policymakers and the broader research and innovation (R&I) community to network on scientific or science-policy-related topics. The aim of these events is to provide new funding opportunities for COST Actions by creating new partnerships. Through this initiative, COST is increasing the awareness of European funding and cooperation opportunities.

The Connect series offers a very interactive format to stimulate dialogue and active engagement among participants. Its thematic approach allows each session to be built based on stakeholder input. Topics are defined along the lines of the current EU policy agenda and societal challenges.

COST Connect is an excellent way of getting together in the same room all the links needed to transform new knowledge into positive societal challenges, speeding up the process. Being there allowed me to see that we, the scientists, can have a say in political decisions that can make the world better.”

Dr Antonio J.Meléndez Martínez, Lab. Colour and Quality of Food (Nutrition and Bromatology Section), Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sevilla, Spain

COST Action: European network to advance carotenoid research and applications in agro-food and health (EUROCAROTEN).

The COST Academy is a training initiative developed to support the COST Actions in managing their Action network. It offers trainings, workshops and webinars on topics highly relevant for the performance of the Action networks.

The COST leadership workshop motivated me to engage in a leadership position within my COST Action ENEC (European Network for Environmental Citizenship). To me, the role of working group leader is a golden opportunity to network and practise my leadership skills in a highly international context.”

Dr Jelle Boeve-de Pauw, Postdoc project manager at the University of Antwerp Department of Training and Education Sciences, Belgium

COST Action: European Network of Environmental Citizenship (ENEC)

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