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The ERC under the microscope

The ERC is under scrutiny. A panel of six prominent experts, with a strong background in research policy and management at national, European and international level, was put together by the European Commission to review the structures and mechanisms of the European Research Council (ERC). The panel is chaired by Professor Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia.

The ERC was established in 2007 and grew to be one of the most renowned research funding bodies, financing top European frontier research. Out of 11 000 grant applications, the council gave funding of over EUR 850 million to 575 successful applicants. The council represents a major departure from traditional EU research funding. It is managed by an independent Scientific Council and functions through an implementation structure that is to become an autonomous executive agency by summer 2009.

The panel is to analyse the council’s achievements by July 2009 and to prepare a report for the European Commission, suggesting also directions for future research funding. The Commission’s response is expected in autumn 2009.