The grants fall under the ‘Excellent Science’ pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme. The research programs that have received Consolidator Grants, tackle challenges such as new regenerative therapies for heart disease, novel algorithms to make computer networks more resilient, a pioneering treatment for psychological conditions and better understanding of how illicit markets work.
Consolidator Grants support talented researchers still early in their careers. The new grant winners have been awarded this competitive funding because they are top-notch scientists with truly ground-breaking ideas. Investment in their success will pay back, states Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. The research projects proposed by the new grantees cover a wide range of topics in physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, as well as social sciences and humanities.
In this competition, researchers of 39 nationalities received funding. Amongst them are for example Germans (50 grants), Italians (38),French (34) and Britons(24). The researchers will work in 23 countries across Europe, with the United Kingdom (58 grants), Germany (48), France (43) and the Netherlands (29) as leading locations. The ERC has evaluated 2,274 research proposals this time, out of which 13.8% have been selected for funding.
The council has an annual budget of €1.7 billion for the year 2016, which is around 1% of overall spending on research in Europe. To date, the ERC has funded some 6,500 top researchers at various stages of their careers, and more than 40,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in their research team.
Here are some examples of projects that have received ERC Consolidator Grants.