Photo by Pierre Sammut (DOI)
Malta recently hosted the Committee of Senior Officials of COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) at ESPLORA, the new interactive Science Centre in Bighi, Kalkara. COST is the longest-running European research framework, supporting networking and knowledge sharing amongst science and technology communities in Europe. It has been a building block of Europe’s research world for nearly 50 years, funding networks across borders and often across scientific disciplines, interlinking nationally funded researchers and innovators.
Since 2012, Malta has participated in a constantly growing number of running COST Actions. In 2015, participants from Malta were involved in the Management Committee of 157 COST Actions. To date there are now over 250 different researchers from Malta, participating in nearly 150 different COST actions. Over 80% of these researchers in fact are based at the University of Malta and the University has also hosted several meetings, training schools and short term scientific missions.
The delegates were welcomed by Dr Angeles Rodriguez Peña, President of the COST Association and Prof Janet Mifsud, Malta COST national contact point. Dr Peña underlined the importance of this meeting, laying the foundations for the future of the programme and the COST Association. Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, Executive Chairman at Malta's Council for Science and Technology noted that the wide range of networking activities COST offers, which made it so amenable to researchers based in Malta. Hon Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Research Innovation and Sports, noted that tackling the European innovation divide is one of the areas that Malta intends to shine a spotlight on during its Presidency in 2017 and COST is one of the ideal tools with which to do this.