Sharing and Caring

From Sharing to Caring: Examining Socio-Technical Aspects of the Collaborative Economy (in short Sharing and Caring) is a COST action funded by the COST Association . COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a pan-European intergovernmental framework. Its mission is to enable break-through scientific and technological developments leading to new concepts and products and thereby contribute to strengthening Europe’s research and innovation capacities.

The Sharing and Caring COST action was initiated and is currently chaired by Dr. Gabriela Avram, and the University of Limerick is the action’s Grant Holder institution.

The main objective of this action is to develop a European network of actors (including scholars, practitioners, communities and policy makers) focusing on the development of collaborative economy models and platforms and on social and technological implications of the collaborative economy through a practice-focused approach.

The terms “Sharing Economy” or “Collaborative Economy” have been commonly used in recent years to refer to a proliferation of initiatives, business models and forms of work.

The specific aims of the action are:

  • To develop a deeper understanding of the collaborative economy phenomenon in all its aspects, by studying in-depth the sociotechnical systems and human practices involved, comparing and reflecting upon local, regional, national and international initiatives;
  • To discuss and critique elements of the current discourse on the collaborative economy, and proposing a richer definition and characterisation of the phenomenon;
  • To formulate a European research agenda for the socio-technical aspects of the collaborative economy, including specifically the design of future technological platforms, the technical infrastructure, their legal, ethical and financial implications;
  • To articulate a European research perspective on the collaborative economy, based on EU values of social innovation, and in line with the Europe 2020 strategy objective to become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020.

The action will produce online resources including publications offering a comprehensive view of the current European collaborative economy and socio-technical and policy recommendations for the future.

You can visit the SharingAndCaring action page on the website, download our factsheet and read our Memorandum of Understanding(MoU), and also check the list of participating countries and the list of Management Committee members and substitutes. The action’s official website is at .

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Duration: 24 March 2017- 23 March 2021

Website: Sharing and Caring

Main contact in IDC:


List of IDC-based members:

  • Gabriela Avram
  • Nora O’Murchu
  • Kim O’Shea
  • Vangelis Papadimitropoulos