Fotis Kafatos has been elected as chair of the European Research Council (ERC), the agency set up to fund basic research in Europe. The vice-chairs will be Helga Nowotny and Daniel Esteve. Uncertainty remains over the ERC’s proposed budget (€ 1.5 billion per annum) due to ongoing negotiation of the EU budget.
ERC in the Press for 2005
The European Research Council (ERC), due to be launched in 2007, is an agency designed to fund basic research in Europe. In an interview with Nature the newly elected chair of the Scientific Council of the ERC, Fotis Kafatos, gives his views on the role of the Scientific Council, on funding of the ERC and on possible oversubscription to the agency.
A molecular biologist from Imperial College London has been appointed the first head of the European Commission's flagship research body. Professor Fotis Kafatos will lead a group of 22 scientists at the European Research Council in charge of distributing €1.5bn ($1.8bn, £1bn) of European Union funds annually to science and technology projects. More...
Historically, the European Union has not bothered with funding much basic scientific research. Such activities have mainly remained the preserve of national governments, not least because giving scientists free rein can lead to discoveries that not only make money but ultimately enhance military might.