European Research Council Announces the winners of 13 ERC Synergy Grants

European Research Council has announced the winners of 13 ERC Synergy Grants, who will share total funding of EUR 150 million. The projects will each receive an average award of EUR 11.5 million, up to a maximum of EUR 15 million, for the coming six years, the European Commission said in a statement.

Commenting on the award, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said:

You have to take risks to get exceptional results. ERC Synergy Grants invest in remarkable research, bringing together top-notch scientists. These projects will push the frontiers of our knowledge. That’s exactly the type of science that we need if we are to make Europe more innovative and globally competitive.

The 13 projects unite 45 researchers of 14 different nationalities, based in 11 countries in the European Research Area. Two of them are returning to Europe (Germany) from the US with their new grant. All in all, 12 are based in Germany, seven in Spain, six in the UK, four in both France and Switzerland, and three each in Hungary and the Netherlands. Denmark, Norway, Austria and Belgium also host grantees.

The ERC Synergy Grant scheme is a pilot in addition to the ERC’s core funding schemes. A limited part of the overall ERC budget (around 10%) is used for this initiative, while the core-business of ERC funding is dedicated to individual researchers. There will be no call for Synergy Grants in 2014. The ERC Scientific Council will analyse the current pilot phase of the initiative before deciding on future calls.

Set up in 2007 by the EU, the European Research Council is the first pan-European funding organisation for excellence in frontier research. The ERC, which is a pioneering component of the EU’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (Ideas’ Specific Programme), has a total budget of EUR 7.5 billion from 2007 to 2013. The European Commission has proposed a significant boost of the ERC budget to over EUR 13 billion in Horizon 2020.

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