European Research Council Celebrates 5 Years of Excellence in Research

The European Research Council (ERC) has celebrated its 5th year of supporting outstanding researchers throughout Europe.

The ERC, which turned 5 yesterday, is marking the milestone with a two day event in Brussels, ‘5 Years of Excellent Ideas,’ attended by top researchers from around the world.

In its 5 years of existence the ERC has funded more than 2500 excellent researchers of 53 different nationalities working in over 480 institutions acrossEurope. In a video message, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said:

The ERC has become a remarkable story for Europe in such a short time. Five years dedicated to supporting 2,500 of the very best and brilliant minds – not least the younger talents – play a key role in stimulating competitiveness and growth, in the challenging times we are going through

In just 5 years the ERC has become a label of excellence recognised both within and outside Europe as a model for frontier research funding. It is for this reason that the European Commission has proposed a substantial increase to the budget for the ERC under the next research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

Ahead of this five year milestone, ERC President Professor Helga Nowotny commented:

The ERC’s fifth anniversary is the right moment to demonstrate the experience the ERC has gained in funding frontier research. It is not too much to say that the ERC has changed the scientific landscape inEuropeand induced the emergence of a genuine European culture of scientific excellence’. She also declared: ‘With hard work, vigorous support from many sides and a bit of luck, we were able to create a well-functioning, first-rate funding agency which has left its indelible mark within a very short period of time. It fills us with joy to see ERC grantees flourishing in universities and research institutions acrossEurope. I am convinced that they will continue to make significant contributions to frontier research, spawn further benefits and stimulate competition for excellence across Europe and worldwide.’

The anniversary will further be an occasion for high-level profiles to debate on “Excellence and brain circulation in the global scientific landscape”, which is one of the ERC’s main priorities, at a round-table with guest speakers from Brazil,India,South Africaand the US.

A full report on the event will be published in the 8th March issue of Research Europe.