In response to an invitation from the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic, members of the COST Action met in Prague on 6 and 7 October, 2014. Inspired by the atmosphere of the neo-renaissance Villa Lanna, the Steering Group (including Chair, Vice-Chair, Working Group Leaders and Coordinators) met one day ahead of the main session, discussing for the first time in a face-to-face setting the structure and agendas of the future Working Groups, thus setting the stage for the Management Committee meeting on the following day.
At the Second Meeting of the Management Committee, the Chair, Prof. Howard Hotson, welcomed all Management Committee members present from 24 countries, and then announced the good news that the University of Oxford had agreed to be the Grant Holder of the COST Action. He also announced that to date, 25 countries were participating in the Action: recommendations were made to include several more.
Vanda Anastacio, the Coordinator of the Action’s Short Term Scientific Missions, presented the selection criteria which developed by the Steering Group. Six applications from the first call were accepted for funding.
The new COST Administrative officer Rose Cruz Santos addressed the delegates, reminding them of the importance of COST policies, in particular that regarding inclusiveness, as under Horizon 2020 50% of funding will come from the ‘Inclusiveness Pot’.
A very important item on the agenda of the meeting was the progress report of the Working Groups. The Working Group leaders presented their preliminary outlines and the Management Committee Members who were present were encouraged to choose a Working Group at that point. It was agreed that the first objective of each Working Group should be the formulation of a coherent and manageable agenda.
What followed were brief considerations of the Action’s overall scientific strategy, budget and dissemination planning. The primary objective of the Action was defined as the development of a transnational digital infrastructure, designed, built, and populated collaboratively. In the process, the essential preconditions for successful funding applications will be created. Howard Hotson also presented the Conference and Training School plan, and addressed some long-term planning issues, including the website, dissemination and collaboration beyond Europe, namely with the project Mapping the Republic of Letters at Stanford University which was unanimously voted to be an Approved Institution in an International Partner Country.