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17-01-2017

The European Research Council (ERC) participates in the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum from 17 to 20 January in Davos, Switzerland, to highlight the role of science in discussions with a diverse audience, from the political, business and civil society spheres. The theme of this year's summit is "Responsive and responsible leadership".

As the ERC is about to celebrate its tenth anniversary, it takes part in the forum for the fifth time with a delegation headed by ERC President Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and gathering nine ERC-funded top researchers, speaking in over sixteen sessions. This presence will stress the importance of investing in top scientific talent and in frontier research in Europe for innovation, growth and competitiveness. European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, responsible for the Horizon 2020 programme which includes the ERC, will also take part in numerous sessions at Davos. 

The ERC grantees will showcase their research and latest findings. Two distinguished economists are amongst them: Nobel Prize winner Prof. Sir Christopher Pissarides, and Prof. Hélène Rey, 'Economist to watch 2016' according to The Economist. 

Feeding into this year's Davos theme, the ERC also holds an IdeasLab session: "The Science of Social Cohesion with the European Research Council", with three grantees who will discuss topics related to how people are influenced and make decisions, as well as how to foster governance in digitally inclusive societies and to curb radicalisation through new understanding of ritual and identity. 

Some highlights of the ERC programme: 

  • Why Facts Don't Unify Us with ERC grantee Harvey Whitehouse 
    17 January 8.15 – 9.00, BetaZone, Congress Centre
  • Pathways to a 1.5 Degree World with ERC President Jean-Pierre Bourguignon 
    17 January 16.15 – 17.30, Atelier, Congress Centre
  • The Science of Social Cohesion: European Research Council IdeasLab session with ERC President Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and ERC grantees: Bahador Bahrami, Evelyn Ruppert and Harvey Whitehouse 
    18 January 16.30 - 17.45, Ideas Lab Congress Centre
  • What If: Privacy Becomes a Luxury Good? with ERC grantee Evelyn Ruppert
    19 January 11.00 – 12.00, Aspen 1, Congress Centre - televised and webcast live
  • Driving Growth through Care with Nobel laureate, ERC grantee Sir Christopher Pissarides 
    19 January 10.45 – 12.00, Jakobshorn, Congress Centre
  • New Realities: A New Europe? with Nobel laureate, ERC grantee Sir Christopher Pissarides 
    19 January 12:30 – 13:45, Morosani Posthotel, Postube
  • Breaking through the Unknown – co-organised by WEF and ERC – with European Commissioner Carlos Moedas, ERC President Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, ERC grantee Flemming Besenbacher and industry leaders 
    20 January 12.30 – 13.45, Morosani Posthotel

Background 

The World Economic Forum (WEF), which has taken place annually since 1971, is an international platform for discussion of pressing global issues. With the overarching goal to “improve the state of the world”, the forum gathers over 2,500 participants, bringing together political, business, scientific and civic society leaders from around the world.  
The European Research Council, set up by the EU, is the first European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Celebrating its tenth anniversary early 2017, it has become a success story for the EU. To date, it has funded around 7,000 top researchers carrying out ambitious science across Europe. The ERC helps to make Europe more competitive and more attractive to scientific talent from anywhere in the world. Under the EU R&I programme, Horizon 2020, the ERC has a budget of over €13 billion for 2014 – 2020. 

The ERC attends WEF events (Davos and "summer Davos" in China) to promote the central role of science at the frontiers of knowledge in today's societies.