7 April 2017
The European Research Council has announced today the awarding of its Advanced Grants to 231 top researchers in Europe. The funding, worth a total of €540 million, will give them a chance to realise their most creative ideas that can have a major impact on science, society and the economy. The grants fall under the ‘Excellent Science’ pillar of the EU’s R&I programme Horizon 2020.
On this occasion, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “The ERC grants, funded by the EU programme Horizon 2020, give freedom to scientists to follow their best ideas and make a real difference in science and beyond. ERC grantees’ work and accomplishments are the best way for the EU to reconnect and engage with its citizens. With those new results, I’m very proud to see that now all the 28 EU countries host ERC grants“.
The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, commented: “It is great news for Europe that another 231 ambitious projects presented by advanced researchers will be supported. Actually, the thorough peer review assessment for this call shows one more time that many more scientists came up with ideas of a truly ground-breaking nature worthy of support. Unfortunately, with the 2016 ERC budget it was only possible to fund 9.6% of applicants. In the coming years, let us hope that the planned growth of the ERC budget will match the wealth of talent and ideas that Europe hosts and attracts.“
The new grantees proposed projects covering all fields of scholarship from developing energy-efficient cooling technology, to understanding limb-regeneration, to new insights into how social and business networks help companies be resilient in the face of crises.
The grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 20 countries across the European Research Area with Germany (45 grants), United Kingdom (41), Switzerland (25) and France (23) as leading locations. In this competition, researchers of 24 different nationalities received funding, with Germans (46), Britons (37), Dutch (21) and French (18) being the most numerous.
Demand for ERC grants remains very substantial: some 2,400 research proposals were submitted this time, out of which 9.6% have been selected for funding. Female researchers submitted approximately 16% of proposals and 16% of grants have been awarded to women.
These grants will not only allow top researchers realise their most creative ideas at the scientific frontiers, they will lead to job creation as an estimated 2,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff can be employed in the grantees’ research teams.