Over the years, COST Actions have turn out to be one the principle instrument for analysis collaboration in Europe.

Thanks to a big spectrum of networking instruments offered by the COST Actions, researchers and innovators have a devoted space to grow their ideas in any science and technology subject by sharing them with their friends. And if science and innovation are on the core of COST Actions’ discussions, all individuals don’t essentially include a purely tutorial background. On the opposite, Actions appeal to all varieties of actors together with SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises).

A mutual profit

Over the final 50 years, COST has turn out to be proof that science, analysis and innovation know no borders, thus enabling infinite examine fields. As a bottom-up program, COST has created strategic networking platforms, the COST Actions, which might solely be described as wealthy ecosystems the place every participant has a powerful voice, no matter its background or area of experience.

By nature, Actions are certainly opened to all: establishments, worldwide organisations, academia, trade and, in fact, SMEs. COST Actions are additionally extraordinarily simple to entry and very versatile, with individuals having the ability to be a part of an Action after it has already began. Therefore, it’s not shocking that the variety of collaborating SMEs has elevated through the years, with at the moment 897 SMEs concerned in working Actions.

SMEs see in COST Actions highly effective networking instruments and search a potential method to discover potential analysis collaboration companions in addition to a spot to construct a powerful academia-oriented community, a possibility they might not essentially discover elsewhere. STSMs (Short Term Scientific Missions), as an example, give them the chance to enhance their workers’ expertise. By working hand to hand with researchers, SMEs may also study new strategies and new methods of working.

On the opposite hand, by being a key companion in analysis initiatives, SMEs convey in new perspective and knowledge for testing analysis speculation and fashions. And, in the case of some COST Actions with a profitable non-academic integration fee, they provide insights into real-life utility, give validation and suggestions on the work of academia, redefines the analysis questions or streamline the agenda for additional analysis.

The inclusion of SMEs really creates mutual profit for all individuals, thus displaying the richness of COST Actions

RESTORE, frontrunner of SMEs inclusion

And the numbers present it! Last 12 months, 77% of the Actions had at the least one SME concerned, and 25 Actions included 10 or extra SMEs. The absolute frontrunner has been “REthinking Sustainability TOwards a Regenerative Economy” (RESTORE Action) with 28 SMEs concerned.

In addressing restorative sustainability in new and present buildings and space design throughout Europe, and in prepared to change the established order of right this moment’s follow by way of ecology, fairness and well being, the RESTORE Action was actually interesting to many individuals from the non-public sector.

I personally am a contract guide. 3 out of 5 leaders of the working teams in RESTORE Action come from SMEs. The profiles of those SMEs have been sometimes architects, freelancers, engineer corporations, design corporations and so forth., working on daily basis in buildings design. They actually introduced their experience in the Action’s case research and helped developed new ideas.”

Carlo Battisti, Action Chair, RESTORE

RESTORE was additionally a particularly well-balanced Action at first, with 50% of individuals coming from the non-public sector and 50% coming from academia. “The more the RESTORE Action went on, the more scientific and researchers joined”, explains Carlo Battisti. “At the end, 77% were academics which was great because connection to SME is crucial for research. Researchers need feedback from the industry to know if what they are doing is relevant or not.“.

But together with SMEs in the method was not at all times a simple highway. “Companies need to believe that their contribution should be immediately applicable, but it is not always the case”, provides Carlo Battisti. “But now more than ever, in these times of pandemic, they understand the importance of networking – and COST provides exactly that! Both researchers and companies were given a lot of opportunities through the exchange of culture, knowledge and mostly ways of working which are very different from one field to another. And if you aim to change a paradigm, like us with RESTORE, and to create new practises, you need to make the old one obsolete. Research and especially applied research are essential to accomplish it“.

The RESTORE Action ended in April 2021. Within 4 years, 40 nations and greater than 160 individuals have been concerned, 10 conferences have been held, 8 publications have been produced, 5 coaching Schools have been organised throughout Europe and greater than 30 STSMs (Short Term Scientific Missions) have been granted. “We did our best to create a good mixt of participants from different fields. It was not easy but, in the end of the four years at COST, we know the material we produced can be applied in the industrial field”, concludes Carlo Battisti.