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22 Mar 2017

Commissioner Moedas announces plans to increase budget for ERC at anniversary event

The European Research Council celebrated its ten-year anniversary in Brussels at the event "Beyond the first ten years" on 21 March 2017. In his welcome remark at the event, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas announced that the Commission plans to increase the budget for the ERC by € 50 million for the remaining years of Horizon 2020.

Praising the ERC as "our jewel in the crown" and "one of the best things to happen in Europe in the last 10 years", the Commissioner said how impressed he was by the enthusiasm he encountered with ERC grantees: "ERC storytellers are able to make you passionate about things that you don't fully understand".

Quoting the ERC's success statistics, Mr. Moedas pointed out that ERC funded projects have been responsible for 6 Nobel Prizes, 5 Wolf Prizes and 4 Field Medals, and that ERC funded projects have resulted in 100,000 articles being published in scientific journals, including over 5,500 in the 1% most cited scientific journals, which means that for the first time, Europe has surpassed the US in the number of top one percent most cited scientific publications. The Commissioner also highlighted the fact that the ERC has become a model that has been recognised as an example of best practice for national funding.

Referring to the European Innovation Council (EIC), the Commissioner said that it would be "a complement to the ERC, not a competitor".  and that there was a need "to reinforce the link between research and innovation. But with each keeping its own distinct identity".

In view of the upcoming next Framework Programme, Mr. Moedas emphasised the three values he has set out for the next FP, namely "Excellence, Openness, and Impact", adding that he believed in the ERC as "a key pillar in an even more ambitious Framework Programme that follows Horizon 2020". In order to keep the focus on excellence, he claimed that there should be three things to focus on: "Tell the story, keep united and connect with the people". This means that firstly, scientists needed to "shout about the value and impact of the ERC"; secondly, Europeans "must remain united in our vision of an ERC based on scientific excellence", and thirdly, the Commissioner called for the "reputation of the ERC move beyond scientific circles". 

For more information:

European Commission press release: full text of Mr. Moedas' speech

Event Programme

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