EU Commission awards top-up funding to ERC grantees to spur innovation

The Commission announced today that 55 grantees of the European Research Council have been awarded ERC Proof of Concept grants to explore the commercial or societal potential of their research results.

The grants, which are worth €150,000 each and are part of the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, can be used to explore business opportunities, prepare patent applications or verify the practical viability of scientific concepts.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The ERC grants announced today is yet another mean of EU support to our brightest scientists that will enable them to advance our knowledge across a broad front for the benefit of our societies and economies.

Moreover, the coronavirus crisis we are faced with today prompts us to rethink the vital role of science and research in Europe and beyond. They are our best hope for progress and best insurance policy against the unexpected. This is why the European Research Council is a vital component of the Horizon 2020 programme, selecting and funding the very best and creative researchers in Europe.”

The awarded projects announced today cover a variety of topics, for example a faster and cheaper approach to detect disease-causing microorganisms; low-power, energy-harvesting hearing implants; or developing a sustainable social business to manage and ethically distribute donated DNA data to scientists. Researchers based in 17 countries, among them many EU Member States as well as other countries, will be working on them.

The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects in Europe. More information is available in this ERC press release, the list of the 55 grant recipients is here and examples of ERC projects are here.

Johannes Bahrke –