© Tuur Tisseghem
© Tuur Tisseghem

EULIFE calls for an increased ERC budget

The European Research Council’s (ERC) alliance of European research centres in life sciences, EU-LIFE, has urged politicians to support the ERC by raising its budget in Framework Programme 9 (FP9) and endorsing its guiding principles.

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of ERC, EU-LIFE released a statement with the message that in only a decade, ERC had 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 that research in Europe.

Jo Bury current chair of EU-LIFE and managing director of VIB, the Life Sciences Research Institute in Flanders, Belgium, said: “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.

“We believe that basic research is of utmost importance to boost innovation, especially when it is coupled to professional technology transfer. The ERC Proof of Concept Grants are indispensable for the translation of disruptive innovation from basic research results.”

Marta Agostinho, EU-LIFE co-ordinator, added: “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.”