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The European Research Council consists of an autonomous Scientific Council of 22 scientists. The ERC is now prepared to award its first so-called starting grants, each of up to 2 million Euro over five years. To select the grantees the Council has established a panel structure of 20 panels of scientists covering physical, engineering, universe and earth sciences (8), biological and life sciences (7) and social and human sciences (5).
The Council and Parliament decision that put the FP7 in place proposed two executive agencies to help manage the 50 billion Euro budget. The ERC is now organising its administration by first establishing two new executive agencies in Brussels called the ”European Research Council Executive Agency” and the ”Research Executive Agency”. The first agency will be responsible for about 7 billion supporting frontier research, the other will have 6,5 billion to finance the Marie Curie fellowships, research for the benefit of SMEs and parts of the Space and Security themes.
As the ERC has had an inexpensive administration up to now, commissioner Janez Potocnik holds that FP7 will deliver great service to the research community at a low cost.