The awarded projects cover a variety of topics e.g., a faster and cheaper approach to detect disease- causing microorganisms; low-power, energy-harvesting hearing implants; or developing a sustainable social business to manage and ethically distribute donated DNA data to scientists.
Proof of Concept (PoC) grants, worth €150,000 each, can be used for example to explore business opportunities, prepare patent applications or verify the practical viability of scientific concepts.
Professor Magdalena Król is a specialist in experimental oncology. Her work has been appreciated and awarded. She received the Ministry of Science and Higher Education scholarship for outstanding young scientists, the Pfizer Animal Health scholarship, the L'Oreal habilitation scholarship and the Unesco Award for Women and Polish Society of Veterinary Science Awards. In 2016, it received the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant worth EUR 1.4 million.
The new grants were awarded to researchers working in 17 countries: Austria (1 grant), Switzerland (2), Cyprus (1), Germany (9), Spain (5), Finland (1), France (3), Israel (5), Italy (4), Luxembourg (1), Netherlands (3), Norway (1) Poland (1), Portugal (1), Sweden (3), Turkey (1) and the UK (13).
The grant scheme is only open to ERC grantees. Over 1000 grantees have received PoC funding since 2011. They can apply for funding in one of the three rounds of the call every year, the second deadline being 7 May 2020 (further information here). Today's announcement concerns the first 2020 round, in which the ERC evaluated 146 applications. The budget for the whole 2020 competition is €25 million.
The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects in Europe. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to work in Europe. To date, the ERC has funded more than 9,000 top researchers at various stages of their careers. It offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. The ERC has a budget of over €13 billion for the years 2014 to 2020, part of Horizon 2020, for which European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Mariya Gabriel is responsible.