During the EU Informal Competitiveness Council on 2 February, European Research Council (ERC) President, Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, addressed EU Research Ministers and Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
In his speech, Prof. Bourguignon called the research community to make the strongest possible case for increased support.
“We need to explain in the clearest terms the value and impact that comes from funding research and innovation, in particular at the European level, its European added value, and this should be done on the basis of results” he stated.
After presenting the main achievements of the ERC, Prof. Bourguignon argued that the EU budget for research and innovation needs to grow significantly in the next Framework Programme (FP9). The consolidation of the ERC requires an increased budget to be able to fund more top scientific projects in Europe and reach a 15% success rate for candidates. This will guarantee a more stable flow of applications and more room for interdisciplinary projects.
The ERC President concluded his speech by saying: “In view of the strong competition coming from Asia, and in particular from China, Europe has no other choice than to invest in science, research and innovation.”
The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence. A total budget of €13 095 million is available for the implementation of the ERC funding schemes under Horizon 2020.
For more information, Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon’s speech is available here.