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  1. 1. Donald B. Dingwell ERC Secretary General High-level conference “Destination Europe” Cambridge (MA), US, 20 January 2012 Europe: A vibrant place for frontier science Exchanging ideas across borders and continents, between research cultures and fields Madeleine Drielsma , Jens Hemmelskamp, Theo Papazoglou
  2. 2. <ul><li>After five years of existence, the ERC </li></ul><ul><li>has reinforced Europe as a prime location for </li></ul><ul><li>top scientists in frontier research </li></ul>│
  3. 3. Raphael: The School of Athens (1510-1511) The early European Research Area For Excellence, the best framework conditions are needed
  4. 4. The first pan-European funding body supporting excellence in frontier research │ <ul><li>Part of the 7th EU Research Framework Programme </li></ul><ul><li>Significant budget - USD 10 Billion from 2007-2013 </li></ul><ul><li>Excellence as the only valid criterion </li></ul><ul><li>Open to researchers from anywhere in the world willing to do research in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Scientific Council with 22 Members </li></ul>
  5. 5. Substantial grants to the very best, creative scientists <ul><li>Researcher </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ERC funds individual scientists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Any nationality, age or current place of work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Host Institute </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based in EU or associated countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grants are portable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Frontier research project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All fields: Physical Sciences & Engineering, Life Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bottom-up: no predetermined subjects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High risk/high gain </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grantee can choose national or trans-national team if scientific added value proven </li></ul></ul>│
  6. 6. Two main ERC grant schemes <ul><li>Starting Grant </li></ul><ul><li>Attract/retain next-generation leaders (2-12 years after PhD) </li></ul><ul><li>Up to US$ 2.6 Million for 5 years + US$ 640 000 ‘set up’ funds for those moving from overseas </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced Grant </li></ul><ul><li>Attract/retain current world-leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Up to US$ 4.5 Million for 5 years + US$ 1.3 Million ‘set up’ funds for those moving from overseas </li></ul>
  7. 7. After 5 years of existence… A success story │ <ul><li>Doubling of ERC budget foreseen </li></ul><ul><li>Highly recognised by the research community </li></ul><ul><li>~2 600 top researchers funded (58% are at early-career stage); 53 nationalities represented </li></ul><ul><li>Working in >480 different institutes in 27 countries </li></ul><ul><li>Highly competitive (average success rate 12%) </li></ul><ul><li>50% of grantees in 50 institutes; “Excellence attracts excellence” </li></ul><ul><li>Benchmarking effect, e.g. competition between universities </li></ul><ul><li>Efficient and fast grant management </li></ul>
  8. 8. Rich opportunities offered by European world class universities and research centres ( e.g. Max Planck, CERN, Pasteur, EMBL) Top universities in ERC calls Top research centres in ERC calls
  9. 9. │ The ERC’s international peer review has strengthened merit-based evaluation systems Number of instances that experts of a certain country of origin are contributing to the ERC peer review?
  10. 10. <ul><li>Global researchers seek the best science & resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Global researchers benefit from ERC funding. </li></ul>│
  11. 11. European and global knowledge are strongly interconnected Source:see http://isi.fraunhofer.de/isi-de/t/projekte/rt-eracep.php Visualisation of collaboration & publication activity (based on analysis of the ERC project “ERACEP”) Example: Public health
  12. 12. <ul><li>To work on a research topic of own choice , with a team of own choice </li></ul><ul><li>To gain true financial autonomy for 5 years </li></ul><ul><li>To attract top team members (EU and non-EU) and collaborators </li></ul><ul><li>To attract additional funding and gain recognition; ERC is a quality label </li></ul>│ The ERC offers independence, recognition & visibility
  13. 13. <ul><li>Incentive : Additional “start-up” funding for scientists moving to Europe (US$ 640 000 for Starting grantees and US$ 1.3 Million for Advanced grantees) </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility : Team members can be based outside Europe. Grantee can move within Europe with the grant. </li></ul><ul><li>Several European countries/host institutes assist applicants and reward grantees with top-up funds or long-term professorships. </li></ul>Attractive features for researchers from outside Europe
  14. 14. <ul><li>Coming to Europe doesn’t mean burning bridges: </li></ul><ul><li>Grantee can keep affiliation with home institute outside Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Grantee must spend a “significant part” (min. 50 %) of the work time in Europe </li></ul>Simple and flexible grants for researchers from outside Europe Example: use of flexibility
  15. 15. Global researchers follow the best science and the best resources Example ERC Project: “CAPER in Invasive Breast Cancer” American professor Michael Lisanti received an ERC Advanced Grant (US$ 1.9 Million) in 2010. Also, Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester since 2010. He is still professor at the Thomas Jefferson University, US.
  16. 16. South Africa, Namibia Mar. 2012 India 2013 Brazil, Argentina, Chile May 2012 China 2013 Japan, Taiwan, S.-Korea Sept. 2012 Russia, Ukraine June 2012 ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand 2012/13 Canada Feb.2012 US South West & Mexico Dec. 2012 US East Coast 2013 Attracting excellent researchers worldwide ERC global campaign targeting top and emerging research locations
  17. 17. “ We want to put the ERC on the map in the coming years […] we need to make sure that the crème de la crème of the research community worldwide knows what Europe and the ERC can offer.” Prof. Alain Peyraube, Chair of the Scientific Council’s internationalisation working group Stepped-up efforts