ERC at "Summer Davos"
1 - 3 July 2019
10:00 - 19:00
Dalian, China
World Economic Forum
Cover image of ERC at "Summer Davos"

For the eighth year running, the ERC took part with a delegation, composed of ERC President Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and nine ERC grantees, all leaders in their respective fields. ERC grantee Prof. Flemming Besenbacher was one of the Co-Chairs of this year’s meeting.

The ERC speakers took part in over ten sessions on a wide array of topics - from tackling cancer; promoting responsible leadership; global waste solutions; and disability inclusion, to science meets business, as well as trust in science.

Press Conference

Three ERC grantees shared their latest findings and scientific insights on how to tackle cancer through their blue sky research, driven by scientific curiosity. They highlighted the topic from different perspectives, including

  • exploiting a tumour’s environment for better treatments;
  • harnessing stem cells for organ regeneration; and
  • targeting the sweet spot of cancer’s sugar coating.

ERC grantees Frances Balkwill, Núria Montserrat and Vered Padler-Karavani
ERC President Jean-Pierre Bourguignon

There was also a dedicated Ideas Lab on the same topic - "Tackling Cancer from the Inside with the European Research Council" with the same speakers.

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon furthermore spoke in other sessions e.g. on climate change:

Leadership in a new era of globalisation

And how China is redrawing the map of global science

Flemming Besenbacher spoke on topics such as “Promoting Responsible Leadership”

Grantees also spoke about: “Ask About: Tackling Cancer" (Frances Balkwill, Núria Montserrat, Vered Padler-Karavani); and; New Champions of Disability Inclusion" (Gaëlle Offranc Piret); "In Science We Trust?" (Frances Balkwill). "Turning Back the Tide of Trash"(Flemming Besenbacher).

BROCHURE: ERC programme & biographies of ERC delegation

List of ERC grantees:

  • Prof. Shahzada Ahmad, Basque Centre for Materials
  • Prof. Flemming Besenbacher, Aarhus University
  • Prof. Frances Balkwill OBE, Queen Mary University of London
  • Prof. Michael Janus Bojdys, Humboldt University of Berlin
  • Prof. Camilla Colombo, Politecnico di Milano
  • Prof. Thomas Hermans, University of Strasbourg
  • Prof. Núria Montserrat, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, IBEC
  • Dr Gaëlle Offranc Piret, Inserm
  • Prof. Vered Padler-Karavani, Tel Aviv University

Video messages with the ERC speakers:

Frances Balkwill

Gaëlle Offranc Piret

WEF blogs by ERC speakers:

Press contact:


Madeleine Drielsma, ERC Press Advisor


The AMNC is a major global summit on science, technology and innovation, gathering young leaders from academia, fast growing enterprises, government and civil society, as well as the media, from over 90 countries.