Fonte: European Research Council
ERC Synergy Grants:
13 exceptional research projects awarded up to €15 million each
18 December 2013
The European Research Council (ERC) today announced the winners of 13 Synergy Grants, who will share a total of €150 million. The projects, at the crossroads of many disciplines, will receive funding of up to €15 million each for the coming six years. Each project brings together two to four outstanding researchers, which means that 45 scientists based in 11 countries are supported through these prestigious grants. This is the second competition for ERC Synergy Grants, which is a pilot scheme introduced in 2011 by the ERC Scientific Council.
The selected researchers will explore a wide variety of topics in all disciplines. The projects include: creating the first ever picture of a black hole; addressing the future of Internet security; evaluating the environmental impact of the lack of phosphorous; and developing new instruments for non-invasive eye treatments. (Read more)
European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn commented: “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.”
On this occasion, ERC President Helga Nowotny said: “The eagerly awaited outcome of the second ERC Synergy Grant has yielded some truly exciting science among the 13 projects selected. Applicants have understood well that ‘Synergy’ entails the unique combination of individual skills and knowledge, often crossing disciplinary boundaries in exceptionally innovative ways. The results prove that the strength of the Synergy Grant lies in enabling up to four top scientists to jointly tackle a challenging problem where none of them could succeed alone. The Scientific Council will soon carefully assess its experience with this innovative pilot scheme.”
The projects selected 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 in both Hungary and the Netherlands. Denmark, Norway, Austria and Belgium also host grantees. In this call, researchers from an unusually wide range of career stages are awarded grants, with ages ranging from 34 to 74 years old.
Compared to the first Synergy Grant competition, participation in this call was more in line with the expectations of the ERC Scientific Council: just under 450 applications were submitted, compared to over 700 in 2012. Overall, the research community now seems to have a good understanding of the spirit and objectives of this scheme. After a two-step evaluation procedure, specifically designed for this purpose, the 13 projects were selected for funding. The success rate rose to 3%, from last year’s 1.5%.
In contrast to consortia, which are funded by other parts of EU research programmes, the ERC Synergy Grant targets individual investigators whose complementary skills, knowledge and resources enable them to take risks that can lead to exceptional results. The Synergy Grant allows unique results to happen by bringing together the right kind of scientists at the right time, in the right configuration, to work on the right kind of question.
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 Grant under the 2014 Work Programme. The ERC Scientific Council will analyse the pilot phase of this grant scheme before deciding on future calls.
Full list of results for the 2013 Synergy Grant call (All projects and researchers selected for funding)