PositionEuropean Research Council

The European Research Council (ERC) announced, on 22 January, that it is awarding 680 million to 302 research directors in 24 European countries. The funding of up to 2.5 million per project will enable these scientists to pursue their ground-breaking ideas at the frontiers of knowledge with their own teams.

The projects selected this year cover a wide range of subjects. A scientist and his team in France will develop new models to explain certain physical phenomena like superconductivity. A team based in Latvia will combine computer science, physics and mathematics to assess the advantages and limits of quantum devices. Another grant will go to a researcher in Italy who will study how economic actors form and change their beliefs about their environment and their peers, by adding emotional and psychological features to existing models.

"The ERC," commented Research Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, "continues to identify the very best researchers. The funding is leading to an increasing number of scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, as well as more publications in recognised scientific journals. Promoting frontier research at the highest level is vital for Europe's competitiveness, and this is why we have proposed to increase the ERC budget as part of our Horizon 2020 programme".

The researchers selected for funding have 32 different...

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