European Research Council invests in research and innovation

European Research Council invests research and innovation
€653m of EU funding will go to 269 senior researchers across Europe, giving them a chance at developing their research.

€653m of EU funding will go to 269 senior researchers across Europe, giving them a chance at developing their research and innovation ideas and produce results that will have a major impact on science, society and the economy.

The funding announced today (6 April) will benefit 269 researchers in the research and innovation sector. The grants of up to €2.5m per project are selected by the European Research Council (ERC) and financed through Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation programme.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “This grant scheme has supported outstanding and established research leaders since 2007. It is a great example of how EU funding can help expand the frontiers of scientific knowledge, providing the resources necessary to continue ground-breaking, high-risk projects, and ensure Europe’s global competitiveness.”

How will the funding improve research and innovation?

Amongst many other topics, advanced researchers will explore:

  • Innovative heart regeneration treatments;
  • The aggressiveness of different bacteria; and
  • The effects of air pollution on the development of babies.

The research of these new grantees covers all fields of research. For example: one grantee in France is to explore the use of underwater communication cables in earthquake warning systems, while another in London, UK, will examine the causes and consequences of electoral hostility, and a scientist in Ljubljana, Slovenia, will build molecular machines based on proteins.

The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, commented: “The diversity and boldness of the research in this latest funding round are once again impressive. The selected researchers explore the brink of the unknown, the ideal setting to make breakthroughs.

“If the past is any guide to the future, the ERC is set to continue betting on audacious scientific projects – the latest review shows again that over 70% of ERC-funded research led to discoveries and major scientific advances. But there are many more bright minds with ambitious ideas in Europe that the ERC could fund if we had more means. That’s why the ERC Scientific Council argues for more resources for the future while keeping the strategy of using scientific quality as the only criterion for selection.”

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