The Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) is pleased to acknowledge the excellent service provided by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in conducting its international evaluation within the general context of Hungarian and European public research funding. ESF established an evaluation protocol including appropriate evaluation criteria and methodology, as well as a detailed work plan in consultation with OTKA. The implementation of an independent evaluation study by a committee of experienced R&D executives and researchers, along with the expert assistance from dedicated ESF staff, led to the publication of the Organisational Evaluation of the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund– a report that will serve as a point of reference for a long time to come.
As the Chair of the COST Action FA1404 I can see how paramount are the activities led by COST. Training Schools and short-term scientific missions, for instance but not exclusively, are unique activities allowing rapidly young researchers to gain skills and knowledge from European partners and even from our competitors worldwide. Reducing the budget at a time of fierce competition and social needs for impact and life improvement would put Europe at risk to lose its competitiveness. I hope the COST budget will not be cut to maintain such tremendous societal, scientific and commercial impact.