ERC 10th anniversary
EU-LIFE statement on the need for increased ERC budget
EU-LIFE, the alliance of research centres in life sciences congratulates the European Research Council (ERC) on its 10th anniversary and wishes to acknowledge publicly the key role of this European Commission initiative in promoting excellent basic research.
In only a decade, the ERC has become a flagship for excellent scientific research in - and for - Europe which is key to innovation. This is particularly relevant because even though- and mainly because of- its impact is initially unpredictable, basic research is the most certain way to major innovation for the benefit of the society.
The ERC has proven very successful in attracting top researchers to Europe and in increasing the competitiveness of Europe’s research on a global scale. The ERC allows the brightest scientists to perform excellent research that sooner or later will pave the way to disruptive innovation from all scientific fields. Coupled to professional technology transfer, basic research is of utmost importance to boost innovation. The ERC Proof of Concept Grants are indispensable for the translation of disruptive innovation from basic research results.
Without ERC grants, research institutions would not be able to attract many of the best scientists in the world. However, Europe’s scientific potential is still not being fully realised due to lack of funding, many great research ideas fully fitting ERC evaluation criteria are put on hold, simply because of the current ERC budget limits. With an increased ERC budget excellent research will further flourish in Europe, making it even more attractive for top researchers.
As such, we urge politicians from all Members States and the European Union institutions to unequivocally support the ERC namely by increasing its budget in the next framework programme the FP9 and clearly endorsing its guiding principles of scientific merit and independence.