all projects

Benefits & effects of COST for Germany


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)



The network of German and European researchers from the fields of technology and science is growing ever closer - also thanks to funding from COST. This is the result of a new Prognos Analysis commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The results of the analysis commissioned by the BMBF show that with comparatively small financial support, COST generates many immediate and long-term effects  and thus unfolds a large impact. For example, COST leads to an acquisition of knowledge, and young researchers often have access to international networks for the first time in their career and can build up long-term networks. In addition, a large number of publications and follow-up applications are produced so that the networks can continue to exist beyond the duration of COST or can even be consolidated.
The results of the COST analysis confirm the importance of European cooperation in research, especially with the EU13 countries. The COST analysis also provides decisive insights that will provide input into the future strategy development and cooperation of Europe in the field of research and innovation. This is particularly relevant in view of the German Council Presidency in the second half of 2020, but also for the new "Horizon Europe" Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

Cooperation facilitates innovation

An important effect of COST is the cooperation and harmonisation of European research. The standardization of standards or diagnostic procedures, for example, makes research more efficient and effective. At the same time, the gap within the European Research Area is narrowing, thus strengthening Europe's competitiveness and innovation capacity. COST plays a preparatory role here in particular.

Empirical basis

Almost 800 participants were surveyed online for the analysis, and almost 30 interviews were conducted with experts and stakeholders. In addition, individual COST Actions were examined as case studies and over 100 final reports were evaluated.
Essential elements of the report are the investigation of the participant structure of COST in Germany, the analysis of the added value for Germany, as well as recommendations for action to improve COST in Germany and the European Research Area.

Background: What is COST?

COST promotes networking activities. The duration is four years. A COST Action must consist of at least seven participating COST Member States. The funding programme is open ("bottom-up") and there are regular deadlines for submission. The next deadline is 5 September 2019. The special feature of COST is that it does not fund research and human resources, but pure networking. Networking activities include expert exchanges, workshops, training schools and similar activities as well as publications.

To the study (in German, PDF, Website BMBF)

More info (Website BMBF)

Video „Why join a COST Action?“ (YouTube)


Dr. Jan-Philipp Kramer, Dr. Jan Biela, Holger Bornemann, Adriana Cruz, Anna Hornik, Dr. Friedemann Koll, Janosch Nellen, Alina Ulmer, Moritz Schrapers

About us

Prognos – Providing Orientation.

Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

Learn more