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In Support of the European Research Council Scientific Council Statement ‘Building on a European Success Story to Further Empower European Researchers’

Science Europe expresses its full support for the statement released by the European Research Council (ERC) Scientific Council on 15 May 2017, and joins the call to “consolidate the ERC’s success by ensuring its continuity, agility and scale-up in the next framework programme.”

Only ten years after its establishment, the ERC is a world champion in funding ground-breaking research across multiple fields, with extremely high research output - as shown in a recent independent study by Clarivate Analytics. As underlined in the Science Europe Position Statement ‘The Framework Programme that Europe Needs’, the ERC is a clear example of European added-value. The success of the ERC and its excellent reputation have demonstrated how strong the demand is for such an instrument at EU level.

The ERC statement calls on European institutions “to retain the legal provisions guaranteeing the autonomy of the ERC: the Scientific Council's scientific independence in setting the ERC's scientific strategy, the necessary operational autonomy for the dedicated implementation structure, and the obligation for Scientific Council members to be fully independent from external interests.”

Science Europe President, Michael Matlosz, added that “it is important to retain the autonomy of the ERC, to provide it with adequate long term funding and to maintain its focus on excellence. A yearly budget of €4 billion for ERC should be considered as a bare minimum. Current pressureon the ERC’s budget, and thus decreasing levels of excellent proposals that receive funding, could be a threat to the ERC success story. The ERC should be able to fund all the proposals rated as excellent by its extremely competitive peer review process.”

“Science Europe shares the views that an increased budget should be seen as part of a broader effort to boost support to research and innovation in the next Multiannual Financial Framework, as one of the policy areas of high European added value” concluded Matlosz.

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