Thirteen universities, technical institutes and private organisations from Member States with a high potential for research excellence, are to receive up to €2.5 million each in EU funding to boost their research capacity through the appointment of "ERA Chairs".
The Horizon 2020 funding will enable these institutions to attract top academics so that they can compete with centres of excellence elsewhere in the European Research Area (ERA). The aim is to bridge Europe's innovation divide by making sure that no one with potential is left behind.
The European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said: "To make European research the best in the world, we need to unlock the potential in all parts of Europe. With the new ERA chairs we are helping promising regions attract the best research talent and strengthen their standing as research excellence centres."
Eleven ERA Chairs have already been funded by a pilot call under the 7th research framework programme (FP7 - IP/14/125). The thirteen new Chairs will now be established in Estonia, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Portugal and Romania. A total of 88 proposals were submitted for evaluation.
Once recruited, the ERA Chairs and their teams will perform research in a wide spectrum of scientific fields, such as solar thermal energy, supramolecular chemistry, clinical genomics, or educational innovation.
The ERA Chairs initiative is an important part of the EU's effort to unlock Europe's potential in research and innovation. Eligible Member states include all those that joined the EU after 2004, plus Portugal and Luxembourg, as well as eight of the non-EU countries associated to Horizon 2020. All 15 eligible EU Member States submitted proposals in the first call under Horizon 2020, and the successful projects were selected by independent experts on the basis of excellence, following standard Horizon 2020 procedures.
Under Horizon 2020, a strong packet of measures with up to €800 million in funding will be available for widening participation of low-research performing Member States. Such actions include special awards like the ERA Chairs instrument, Teaming (new centres of excellence –IP/15/3885) or Twinning (institutional networking that includes support on staff exchanges, expert advice and assistance), currently managed by the Research Executive Agency.
For more information: read here