Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn, ERC Secretary-General Dingwell and ERC grantees discuss importance of EU funding and Europe's attractiveness for researchers

Berlin, 21 October 2011

At the occasion of the launch of Science Europe in Berlin on 21 October 2011, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and the ERC's Secretary-General, Prof. Donald Dingwell met five ERC grantees based in the Berlin area. They discussed in particular the encouraging trend of top researchers moving back to Europe. The grantees they met were: 

  • Francesca Spagnoli and Matthew Poy, both junior Group Leaders at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) who study possible therapeutic remedies to cure diabetes;
  • Peter Seeberger, Director at the Max-Planck Institute for Colloids working on the interactions of an anticoagulant with proteins to better understand infectious diseases;
  • Michael Brecht, Head of the Bernstein Center and Professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin who conducts research on the relations between neural activity and mammals' behaviour;
  • Christian Oliver Paschereit, Professor at the Institute for Streaming Mechanics and Technical Acoustics of the Technische Universität Berlin who works on a new technology to burn natural gas, hydrogen and other fuels with less CO2 emissions.

The scientists praised the local research conditions, as well as the funding from the ERC which offers them independence they need to conduct their research. ERC funding for the five researchers amounted over € 10 million.

Commenting in particular on the brain drain, Prof. Dingwell added: "I am very happy to see that five of the greatest talents are today gathered in Berlin. Several of them have chosen to return to Europe, thanks in part to the ERC's grant. This is an outstanding example of brain circulation which will contribute to cope with the shortage of research talent in Europe. I truly hope that the ERC will continue, in the coming years to attracting excellent researchers from all over the world".

Credit © European Union
From left to right: Francesca M. Spagnoli, Peter Seeberger, Michael Brecht, Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Matthew Poy and Christian Oliver Paschereit.

Speech of Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn at the Launch of Science Europe in Berlin, 21 October 2011

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