COBRA is the Inter-University Research School on Communication Technologies Basic Research and Applications. It was founded in 1994. COBRA has been recognized as a leading research school by KNAW (Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen) as part of their recognition program for research schools. This was the case for the first time in 1996. Moreover, since 1998, COBRA has been granted the title of TOP research school by the ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
In COBRA, research groups from the disciplines of physics, electrical engineering and chemistry from Eindhoven University of Technology and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in The Netherlands come together, combining their efforts in education and research. The activities range from basic research in physics on novel materials and devices to research on communication systems and system applications.
The mission of COBRA is to excel in acquisition, transfer and application of knowledge in communication technology by doing high-quality research combined with offering a prestigious post-academic educational program for PhDs and PostDocs. Communication technology should be understood here as the technology of materials, components, devices, systems, and their relationship in networks, that are relevant for collecting, saving, processing, transporting, routing and presentation of information. The key to realization of this mission is knowledge. Without building knowledge, it is impossible to renew knowledge transfer and knowledge application. The central element in COBRA's policy is therefore to gain knowledge on the full dynamical trajectory from nano-optics and nano-electronics up to and including the applications in communication systems and networks.
The research of COBRA can be divided in, on the one hand, a fundamental research program, aiming at new principles and groundbreaking concepts that in the mid or long term may lead to new applications. And on the other hand, an applied research program, aiming at transferring “state-of-the-art” knowledge to industry and public institutions, for example through delivering well-educated PhD researchers. Being applied research, this doesn’t mean short-term goals are the aim. Based upon a long-term vision, multiple-year top-level programs are defined in collaboration with industry.
The educational program is aimed at developing and expanding the professional and personal expertise of the PhD students. It consists of a wide range of workshops and training sessions for the development of general knowledge and skills, tailored to the different stages of a PhD research project. On the one hand it is aimed at acquiring skills to successfully complete the thesis and on the other hand to enhancing the future career prospects.