ERC suggests 4bn budget rise by 2027
© Ecole polytechnique Université Paris-Saclay

ERC suggests €4bn budget rise by 2027

Ahead of its tenth anniversary, European Research Council (ERC) president Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, has set out plans for the future, suggesting the annual budget should rise to €4bn over the next ten years.

The ERC annual budget should reach €4bn per annum by the time of the agency’s 20th anniversary in 2027, Bourguignon said.

The 2017 budget of €1.8bn is due to increase to €2.2bn by the time Horizon 2020 ends.

Bourguignon said: “Obviously I’m aware that there will always be uncertainties with future budgets but I’m saying we should take €4bn as our reference point.

“The idea is that this should keep increasing by between €200-300m each year during the next framework programme.”

Since its foundation, ERC has funded almost 7,000 projects.

The first ERC competition, back in 2007, received 9,167 applications, around three times more than the average submission rate for EU research calls.

Bourguignon also said he would like do something about the overall success rate.

He added: “We know they are not satisfactory. We feel we would be in a much more comfortable place if they were at 15%.”

This year, the figure is 12.5%, last year it was 11%.

“Below 10% is a psychological threshold – we know even excellent people may not apply if it goes below this level,” Bourguignon said.