The ERC has awarded top-up funding to 54 ERC grant holders via its Proof of Concept Grants, to explore the commercial or societal potential of their ERC-funded frontier research results. The grants are part of the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
The awarded projects cover a variety of topics: a new non-invasive test for cystic fibrosis in babies, an evidence based treatment programme for traumatised child refugees, and a process to identify which new antibiotics that bacteria are less likely adapt to and resist over time. See more examples of funded projects.
Proof of Concept (PoC) grants, worth €150,000 each, can be used for example to explore business opportunities, prepare patent applications or verify the practical viability of scientific concepts.
The new grants were awarded to researchers working in 15 countries: Austria (1 grant), Belgium (2), Finland (3), France (3), Germany (4), Hungary (1), Ireland (2), Israel (3), Italy (2), Luxembourg (1), Netherlands (8), Portugal (2), Spain (4), Switzerland (5) and the UK (13).
The grant scheme is only open to ERC grantees. Over 900 grantees have received PoC funding since 2011. They can apply for funding in one of the three rounds of the call every year. Today's announcement concerns the first 2019 round, in which the ERC evaluated 134 applications. The budget for the whole 2019 competition is €25 million.
The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects in Europe. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to work in Europe. To date, the ERC has funded around 9,000 top researchers at various stages of their careers. It offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. The ERC President is Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The ERC has a budget of over €13 billion for the years 2014 to 2020, part of Horizon 2020, for which European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas is responsible.