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The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli, held a meeting with the director of COST, the European Cooperation Association for Science and Technology, Ronald de Bruin. During the meeting, the parties discussed Georgia's full membership of COST, which provides Georgian scientists with the greatest opportunities for career development. Mikheil Chkhenkeli thanked Ronald de Bruin for his support and noted that the representatives of COST member states showed great support with regards to admitting Georgia as a full member.
According to the minister, the full membership of the COST association in the field of science and technology is an extremely important achievement for Georgia, which will give the opportunity to the Georgian scientific community to be involved in the process of shaping the strategic future of the organization. During the meeting, Mikheil Chkhenkeli also spoke about Georgia's membership in Horizon Europe and stated that Georgia became a member of the European Union's new framework program for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, with the direct involvement of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Gharibashvili. According to the Minister, on December 7, 2021, under ceremonial circumstances in Brussels, the Association Agreement for Georgia was signed.
According to Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Georgia's membership of COST and Horizon Europe is a great step forward in the direction of our country's return to the European family. On his part, Ronald de Bruin, director of COST, the association for European cooperation in science and technology, personally thanked Mikheil Chkhenkeli for the productive cooperation.
Ronald de Bruin expressed his hope that Georgian scientists will get involved as much as possible and take advantage of all the opportunities that COST offers them. According to him, in the fall of 2022, the next meeting of the COST leadership committee will be held in Brussels, where Georgia will be included as a full member.
The meeting was also attended by the former president of COST, professor Sierd Cloetingh, who thanked the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia for the long and fruitful cooperation in the direction of both COST and Academia Europea. According to him, with the efforts of Mikheil Chkhenkeli and his department, Georgian scientists have more and more opportunities for development, financing, and universal recognition.
On his part, Mikheil Chkhenkeli noted that with the support of the Ministry, the regional centre of the European Academy helps the scientific community of Georgia to get closer to the space of European science, innovation and technology and helps the country to move towards European integration. Mikheil Chkhenkeli noted that it would be an excellent step forward to enhance the existing cooperation in this direction and to develop additional programs specifically for young scientists-researchers.
It should be noted that Georgia and Ukraine became full members of COST, the Association for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, in 2022. As a result, Georgian researchers and innovators will have the opportunity to take full advantage of COST's diverse networking tools, expand and strengthen international scientific connections, and ensure the international success of their research projects.
With the support of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, the Government of Georgia actively worked towards the accession of Georgia to the COST association. Already in December 2021, within the framework of a working visit to Brussels, the Minister of Education and Science, Mikheil Chkhenkeli, held a meeting with the director of the European association COST, Ronald de Bruin, and personally discussed with him the issue of Georgia's full membership in COST. On February 14, 2022, Mikheil Chkhenkeli made a relevant application for Georgia's membership in the association. On March 30-31, a meeting of the Supreme Leaders' Committee and the General Assembly was held in Paris, where the representatives of COST member states unanimously supported the joining of Georgia and Ukraine to the family of European cooperation, and both countries became full members of COST. COST association is one of the oldest European organizations in the field of science and technology, founded in 1971. The aim of the organization is to facilitate the establishment of connections between European researchers, as well as to increase the awareness of their research activities by holding seminars, workshops, conferences, offering summer scientific schools and implementing joint projects.