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European Research Council – Beyond the first ten years
Conveners: Claudia Jesus-Rydin , Rosaria Carbone , Nicolas Sifakis 
Thu, 27 Apr, 19:00–20:00

Since 2007, the European Research Council, flagship component of Horizon 2020, the EU’s programme for research and innovation has had the mission to encourage excellent researchers in Europe through competitive funding, by supporting top researchers across all fields and of any nationality.

In ten years, the ERC has funded 7,000 researchers including six who later received Nobel Prizes. It has created career opportunities for some 50,000 research staff, resulting in numerous scientific breakthroughs and leading to 100,000 international scientific journal articles and to over 800 patent applications that lay the foundations for growth and jobs, and the improvement of people's daily lives.

In Brussels, on 21 March, the European Research Council celebrated its 10th anniversary, an important milestone in making Europe a global centre of excellence in research. At this event Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas said: "When the European Union acts boldly, wonderful things happen. The European Research Council, part of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, is proof of it. In its first ten years, the ERC has funded almost 7,000 research champions across Europe to pursue their best ideas. Beyond the academia, innumerable people are already benefitting from the positive impact of the ERC and its funded discoveries."

To mark the tenth anniversary, research institutions and national authorities in Europe held various events during the "ERC Week" from 13 to 19 March 2017. Special events were also set up outside Europe to promote the ERC globally. In total, 140 events will celebrate the ERC’s 10th anniversary in 35 countries throughout 2017 for reflection on the past decade and on the future.

ERC President Jean-Pierre Bourguignon will give the opening speech on this session and it will be an opportunity to get a flavour of the ERC projects funded in geosciences as well as an overview of the major achievements. All researchers interested in receiving an ERC grant are encouraged to attend.