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European Research Council–a decade of supporting international research champions

The European Research Council (ERC), established in 2007 by the European Commission (EC) and a key component of today’s Horizon 2020, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. For a decade the ERC has been operating to support international scientists with the most creative and cutting-edge ideas in a bottom-up approach in all research disciplines, and to grow Europe’s talent pool for research and innovation.

With a budget of over EUR 13 billion (2014-2020), entirely funded by Horizon 2020, the ERC accounts for an array of key achievements over the past 10 years:

  • So far 7 000 young “research champions” and over 50 000 team members, a majority being PhD students and post-docs, have been funded with EUR 12 billion.
  • More than two thirds of supported projects have generated discoveries for the European Union
  • There has been no shortage of recognition for the ERC’s work, among which 6 Nobel Prizes, 4 Fields Medals underpin achievements.
  • Scientific journals, including the 1% top cited journals, have published 100 000 ERC articles.
  • Globally recognised for its internationally diverse scientific community, 9 non-European countries signed international agreements with the EC that support national researcher visits to ERC projects.

The ERC has also left its mark on mobility with over 180 researchers moving to Europe, a majority of whom are repatriating. The ERC model and competitions have also been successful in inspiring the set-up of various national research councils and the adaptation of funding schemes.  

A series of more than 100 events marking the 10th anniversary have been held across Europe, 13 to 19 March 2017, and celebrations will further extend throughout the year and across the world including the USA, China and Japan.

European Research Council – Facts and Figures