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The European Research Council (ERC) – the first pan-European funding body for frontier research - was set up in 2007 under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7, 2007-2013).
It aims to enhance the dynamic character, creativity and excellence of European research at the frontiers of knowledge.
Through peer reviewed competitions the best researchers are funded to perform their research in Europe.
The ERC is now part of the first pillar - 'Excellent Science' - of Horizon 2020, the new EU Programme for Research and Innovation.
The total budget allocated to the ERC for the period 2014-2020 is € 13.1 billion.
Which means, in real terms (i.e. without considering inflation), an increase of 60 % compared to FP7.

  • The ERC represents 17% of the overall Horizon 2020 budget (€ 13.1 billion of € 77 billion)

  • The total annual budget for 2017 is of around €1.8 billion, the highest ever since the ERC's inception in 2007 

  • Since 2007, some 9,000 projects have been selected for funding from more than 65,000 applications

  • ERC grantees have won prestigious prizes, including 6 Nobel Prizes, 4 Fields Medals, 5 Wolf Prize and more

  • Over 40,000 articles acknowledging ERC support in international, peer reviewed journals to the end of 2015

  • Each ERC grantee employs on average six team members, thus contributing to train a new generation of excellent researchers. Currently over 50,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in their research teams.

  • More than 70% of projects assessed by an independent study made scientific breakthroughs or major advances, whilst about 25% of them made contributions that are incremental (see also result pilot study).