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On 29 February 2012, the European Research Council (ERC), which provides funding for outstanding researchers across Europe, celebrated its 5th anniversary. The ERC funds research across the entire spectrum of disciplines and aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by encouraging competition for funding between the very best, most creative researchers regardless of nationality or age. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe.
Since its inception in 2007, the ERC has funded over 2 500 excellent researchers representing 53 different nationalities working in some 480 different institutions across Europe. Even more impressive, the scheme’s grantees include four Nobel Prize winners and three Field Medallists, as well as the winners of 30 other internationally recognised prizes. The total funding allocated to date, EUR 4.2 billion, has contributed to supporting over 12 000 researchers, allowing them to remain in or come to Europe, to gain scientific independence, and to hire and train a new generation of young researchersHappy birthday, ERC! European Research Council