EU-LIFE calls for an increased ERC budget in FP9
The European Research Council (ERC) is key to excellent basic research. EU-LIFE, the alliance of European research centres in life sciences, urges politicians to unequivocally support the ERC by raising its budget in FP9 and endorsing its guiding principles. At present the innovation potential in Europe can’t be fully exploited because of a lack of funding.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the ERC, EU-LIFE has released a statement with the message that in only a decade, ERC has become a flagship for excellent scientific research in – and for – Europe, which is key to innovation. Also according to the statement, the ERC plays a crucial role in supporting this research in Europe.
“As a member of the EU-LIFE alliance, and a recipient of ERC funding to three of our group leaders, the Babraham Institute recognises the value of ERC funding support for fundamental bioscience and in supporting the best scientific talent.” said Institute Director Professor Michael Wakelam. “We believe that increasing the support available for excellent research and researchers can only boost Europe’s competitiveness further.”
The ERC has proven very successful in attracting top researchers to Europe and in increasing the competitiveness of Europe’s research at a global scale. The ERC allows the brightest scientists to perform research that sooner or later will pave the way to innovation from all scientific fields.
“Many great research ideas fully fitting ERC evaluation criteria are put on hold, simply because of the current ERC budget limits. In our experience more than 50% of excellent research projects don’t receive funding because of this. With an increased ERC budget excellent research will further flourish in Europe, making it even more attractive for top researchers.” said Jo Bury, Chair of EU-LIFE and Managing Director of VIB, the Life Sciences Research Institute in Flanders, Belgium.
“Europe needs a strong ERC to achieve its goal of being a worldwide leader in innovation. Collectively, we need to ensure that the future ERC budget is increased to raise the positive impact of excellent research in Europe. We can state that more than a funding principle, the ERC proves to be a multiplier with increased visibility of the research in academia and beyond.” said Marta Agostinho, EU-LIFE coordinator.