The European Research Council: Finding and Funding Top Researchers Worldwide

Sunday, 16 February 2014
Grand Ballroom C North (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Jean-Pierre Bourguignon , European Research Council, Brussels, Belgium
The European Research Council (ERC) is a pan-European funding organisation that aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe. With its bottom-up approach which allows top researchers from all over the world and from any field of research, to compete in its calls, the ERC has set precedence in the European Research Area. Excellence is the sole criterion for selection in ERC competitions; there are neither thematic priorities nor geographical quotas for funding. Through substantial grants, it encourages pioneering ideas in new and emerging fields of research and introduces unconventional and innovative thinking. This presentation will focus on the unique role of the ERC, and will address its wider impact and its future challenges. The ERC has an ambition to support the science that goes beyond the existing boundaries; through multidisciplinary research teams that bring together scientists from all continents. Funding first rate scientists to perform high-risk/high-gain research at the frontiers of knowledge is pivotal to foster Europe’s innovation and tackle various societal challenges under the new EU research programme “Horizon 2020”.