Information meeting about COST

Date: 13 February 2020

Venue: Malmö universitet

Address: Hörsal G8:125, Gäddan, Citadellsvägen 7

Organised by: Lärosäten Syd, the network of Universities in South Sweden

COST stands for European Cooperation in Science and Technology and is a funding organisation for research and innovation networks. COST is Europe’s longest-running programme to promote transnational cooperation between researchers from all over Europe.

Through so called COST Actions, research initiatives across Europe and beyond get connected and enable researchers and innovators to grow their ideas in any science and technology field, including social sciences and humanities, by sharing them with their peers. COST Actions are bottom-up networks with a duration of four years that boost research, innovation and careers.

Networking achieved through COST Actions has proven to be a beneficial stepping stone towards building consortia with European partners that go on to apply and receive funding from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, currently Horizon 2020.

At this information day, you will learn more about COST Actions from the COST secretariat based in Brussels and understand how it can boost your own research career. You will also hear first-hand experience from peers across Lärosäten Syd, who are and have been engaged in COST Actions. The meeting will be held in English.


12:00 – 13:00        Registration and lunch

13:00 – 13:05        Welcome address

  •  Per Hillbur, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Malmö University

13:05 – 13:10        Introduction to COST in the context of European collaborative research projects

  • Rickard Eksten, Brussels representative & Senior EU Policy Officer, Lärosäten Syd

13:10 – 14:00        Participate in COST Actions and submit a proposal

  • Christer Halén, Senior Administrator – Science Operations, COST Association

14:00 – 14:15        Coffee break

14:15 – 15:15        What are the benefits from participating in COST? Examples of experience and best practice

  • Martin Persson, Professor of Health Science, Högskolan Kristianstad & COST Action Chair for European Cleft and Craniofacial Initiative for Equality in Care
  • Markus Fiedler, Professor at Department of Technology and Aesthetics, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola
  • Roger Johansson, Professor at the Institute for Urban Research, Malmö University
  • Jens Rydström, Professor at Department of Gender Studies, Lund University

15:15 – 15:35        National participation in COST and nomination procedures

  • Birgitta Boman, COST National Coordinator, Vinnova

15:35 – 16:00        Q&A

Register to attend the information meeting

Collaborating towards a Horizon Europe mission on climate-neutral cities by and for citizens

On 4 December, Lärosäten Syd – the network of Universities in South Sweden – together with the other south Swedish Brussels offices – Skåne European Office, Småland Blekinge Halland South Sweden, Skåne Association of Local Authorities and City of Malmö EU Office – co-organised a policy event in Brussels to present the main wishes and expectations of south Swedish actors on the Horizon Europe mission on cities, as well as to discuss with European partners the main recommendations for the implementation of the mission.

The following points summarise the discussions between the speakers, the respondents and the audience. They should not be interpreted as an official position of the organisers, but rather a recount of the main points raised which found general agreement in the room.

  • The mission should refer to climate neutral cities – a short and clear mission to facilitate a clear commitment. Smartness is an enabler for climate neutrality. Climate neutrality is the most useful concept to frame the idea behind the mission. The mission should recognise the co-benefits coming from climate-neutrality.
  • The mission should target all sizes of cities, including small and medium-sized ones, as well as metropolitan regions.
  • It is vital to involve students in research, and universities have an important role in building capacity for the future through for example MOOCs and exchange programmes between academia and cities.
  • To fully involve citizens, it is important to consider the design of participatory processes carefully, to be aware of who we invite to participate and the method of participation – from consultation, collaboration, coordination and co-design. Universities have an important role to play in facilitating this process, for example in mapping and critically analysing the target group to ensure that the voices of the most vulnerable are not left behind during rapid societal transitions.
  • ‘Smartness’ does not only need to be technology-driven. Urban green spaces is a well-documented response to many contemporary urban challenges. Smart is also to allow longsighted thinking (e.g. to work with nature instead of against it), and to work with engagement to set the necessary goals and create a partnership where nature is allowed to inspire our governance system in cities – a governance system that is holistic, cross-disciplinary and longsighted.
  • There is a real risk that any gains in the selected climate neutral cities may be lost through carbon emission increases resulting from other funding streams (i.e. funding outside the focus area of the mission) – for example highway construction that induces vehicular traffic and sprawling cities. The success of the missions must be considered in the context of wider planetary climate-neutrality.
  • Transport is a difficult area to decarbonise. Substituting internal combustion engines for electric vehicles will help reduce vehicle emissions, but will not address the long distances, high embodied energy of low density development. By contrast, planning for more compact urban patterns inherently better suits the climate-neutral city agenda – reducing vehicular travel demands, lowering embodied energy, and supporting efficient public transport.
  • Predictive maintenance and district heating and cooling offer opportunities for energy savings and can be adapted to local and regional contexts.
  • Local scientific policy advisory boards, as championed in Lund, is one example of how citizens can be meaningfully engaged in the transition to climate-neutrality.
  • The mission must be transparent in the language it is using around costs. The transition will involve costs.
  • Many cities in south Sweden have done all the ‘easy stuff’. Now it is the complicated things that are left to achieve. Accelerators will be needed and companies have a vital role to play here.
  • National support systems are important. EU investment will create more value added and leverage and situations where there is a national and regional support system for the climate transition in place.

You can access the full presentations by our speakers here:

Download the event agenda.

For further information about the event and the collaboration in south Sweden, please contact: