The European Science Foundation (ESF) was established in 1974 to create a common European platform for cross-border collaborative research cooperation and to act as a coordinating body for Europe’s main research funding and performing organizations. In its 42 years of experience, ESF has supported over 2,000 programmes and networks, gathering more than 300,000 scientists from 186 countries, through funding from 80 member organizations in 30 countries. ESF and its new expert services division, Science Connect, continues to support the conduct of scientific research across Europe, but now more as a service provider, rather than a member-owned organization. Via Science Connect ESF has launched a series of services to the scientific and academic communities: peer review, project management, programme evaluation and career tracking, and aims to support the future of a globally competitive European Research Area while maintaining the strong track-record of successful research programmes for its members.