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The Specific Programme “Ideas” : The European Research Council (ERC) Monica Dietl European Commission, DG RTD Directorate B/Unit B1 (W.P. Cannell). Personnaly speaking. Outline. Why an ERC? The ERC in the 7th Framework Programme ERC: Structure and organisation Progress in building the ERC.

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slide1

The Specific Programme “Ideas” : The European Research Council (ERC)Monica DietlEuropean Commission, DG RTDDirectorate B/Unit B1 (W.P. Cannell)

Personnaly speaking

slide2

Outline

  • Why an ERC?
  • The ERC in the 7th Framework Programme
  • ERC: Structure and organisation
  • Progress in building the ERC
slide3

Why an ERC?

  • European added value through Europe-
  • wide competition
  • Catalysing the creation of a more
  • coherent European research system
  • Making Europe more competitive
  • Need of funding for Frontier research
slide4

European added value through Europe-wide competition

  • Encouraging and supporting the finest talent: scientists are ambitious and competition for big rewards will always “raise the game”
  • Selecting the most promising research areas, by pushing groups to the edge of current possibilities
  • Giving European and international visibility to research leaders
slide5

Catalysing the creation of a more

efficient European research system

  • Bottom-up competition promotes the re-configuration of research activities to meet the new opportunities and challenges, often across disciplinary boundaries
  • Individual countries need external benchmarks
  • National research systems learn from European competition
slide6

Making Europe more competitive

  • High quality frontier research stimulates early-stage industrial investment
  • Europe’s universities and research organisations must stay at the forefront of knowledge
  • Discoveries lead to Intellectual Propperty and to start-ups
  • Knowledge acquisition is a major cultural benefit
slide7

Need for Frontier research

  • Research at the frontiers is an intrinsically risky venture
  • it is characterised by an absence of disciplinary boundaries
  • We need to avoid outmoded distinctions:
    • Between “basic” and “applied” research
    • Between “science” and “technology”
    • Between “traditional” disciplines
slide8

The ERC in FP7

  • Cooperation - thematic research areas
  • Ideas - frontier research (ERC)
  • People - human resources
  • Capacities:
    • Infrastructures
    • SMEs
    • Regions of knowledge
    • Research potential
    • Science in society
what s new in fp7
What’s new in FP7 ?
  • Substantial annual budget increase
  • Frontier research (~ EUR 1 billion per year)
  • Joint Technology Initiatives (JTI)
  • A Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (loan finance EIB)
  • Regions Knowledge (regional RTD driven clusters)
  • Logistical and administrative tasks transferred to external structures
  • Duration of 7 years
slide11

Specific programme “Ideas”:

Innovations compared with

“standard” FP programmes

Support to individual teams !

  • Investigator-driven frontier research
  • All areas of science and technology
  • Simplified grant
  • 100% reimbursement
  • Independent scientific governance (Scientific Council)
  • Dedicated implementation structure (Executive Agency)
fp7 negotiations state of play
FP7 negotiations: state of play
  • Competitiveness Council of 28 November 2005 arrived at a consensus on ERC (including a review of implementing structure by 2010)
  • Competitiveness Council of 13 March 2006 global consensus on SP Ideas, no decision
  • Parliament amendments FP7 - 15th March 2006 (Buzek report); SP Ideas – 4 May 2006 (Niebler report)
  • FP7 budget following financial perspectives of the EU budget
erc implementation requirements
ERC Implementation requirements
  • Autonomous (independent of political interest)
  • Efficient (low bureaucracy)
  • With necessary financial means (at programme and project level)

But also….

  • Accountable (scientific, financial)
  • Appropriate European Structure
erc structure and organisation
ERC Structure and Organisation
  • Scientific Council (SC)
  • Dedicated implementation structure (DIS) (may be Executive Agency)
  • Possibility of different structure after review

(f.ex. Article 171 )

slide15

ERC Scientific Council

  • High level scientists reflecting the full scope of European research, nominated by Commission decision
  • Role:
    • Establish overall scientific strategy, preparation of work programmes (including calls for proposals, detailed criteria of excellence,…)
    • Define peer review methodology; ensure selection and accreditation of experts
    • Monitor quality of operations and evaluate programme implementation
    • Assure communication with the scientific community
slide16

ERC Scientific Council

  • Founding members were announced on 18 July 2005 following an independent identification procedure
  • Working in advance of the FP7 decision in the development phase of the ERC (already 2 meetings)
  • 22 Members
  • Chair: Fotis Kafatos
  • Vice Chairs:
    • Helga Nowotny
    • Daniel Estève
slide18

ERC Dedicated Implementation Structure (DIS)

  • Execute work programme as established by the Scientific Council
  • Implement calls for proposals (information and support to applicants; proposal reception/eligibility check; etc.)
  • Organise peer review evaluation
  • Establish grant agreements, transfer funds
  • Administer scientific and financial aspects and follow-up of grant agreements
slide19

The European Commission’s duties

  • Guarantor of the autonomy and integrity of the ERC
  • Ensure that implementation follows principles of autonomy
  • Adopt work programme as established by the Scientific Council
  • “Double lock” by the Programme Committee
  • Provide annual report on ERC operations to Council and European Parliament
slide20

Progress in building the ERC

  • Individual team
  • Frontier research grant
  • Peer review process (SC)
  • Work programme (SC)
  • Preparation of the DIS
  • Follow-up of political process: Timetable
slide21

Individual team

  • The Principal Investigator (the ‘team leader’) has
    • power to assemble his/her research group
    • freedom to choose the research topic.
  • Individual teams should consist of a grouping of researchers which meets the needs of the project, without “artificial” administrative constraints; thus members may be drawn from one or several legal entities, from either within or across national boundaries, including third countries
slide22

Frontier Research Grant:

Key principles

  • An investment in research and research leaders
  • Support for investigator-driven research projects implemented by individual teams
  • Attractive (budget size, duration and conditions, including 100% reimbursement)
  • Administratively simple
  • Flexible in application
slide23

Work programme:

ERC Launch Strategy

The Scientific Council has made good progress in its first meetings regarding the ERC launch strategy Two streams of activity are foreseen:

  • ERC Starting Independent Researcher Grant scheme (ERC Starting Grant)
    • Call for proposals to be published in early 2007
  • ERC Advanced Investigator Researcher Grant scheme (ERC Advanced Grant)
    • Call for proposals at a later stage
slide24

Starting independent researcher grant

  • first call at start of FP7
  • designed to support researchers at the stage of starting their first independent research team
  • continued throughout the life of the framework programme
slide25

Advanced Investigator Researcher Grant

  • Designed to support excellent investigator-initiated research projects by established investigators
  • Brought on-stream from year 2
  • Complements the SIRG scheme by targeting researchers who are already independent research leaders
slide26

Peer review process

  • Peer Review Evaluation
    • Approx. 15 high level panels (~10 members)
    • Multidisciplinary projects encouraged (appraised by all appropriate panels)
    • Possibly have ScC member as observer on each panel
  • Evaluation Criteria
    • Excellence of project
    • Potential of people (research excellence, achievements, publications)
slide27

Funding Streams principles:

ERC Starting Grant and ERC Advanced Grant

- Operating on a bottom-up basis

- Not duplicating other FP7 activities

  • - Two-step procedure
  • - 100 k€ - 400 k€ for up to 5 years
ongoing actions to build the erc preparation of the dis
Ongoing actions to build the ERC : Preparation of the DIS

Under the guidance of the ScC:

  • Definition of scientific strategy (in particular for ERC launch and first calls)
  • Development of the systems and processes for the DIS (call/evaluation methods, grant agreement…)
  • Building awareness of ERC and its early strategy

And in parallel:

  • Continuation/completion of political negotiation (FP7, “ideas” programme)
  • Development of the legal and operational basis for the Agency
  • Building the “operational capability” of the DIS (recruitment of personnel, infrastructure….)
implementation roadmap
Implementation Roadmap

Preparatory work defined by eventual “functional components” of ERC, under the direction of a “Core Group”:

  • Strategy and Planning
  • Communications and external interfaces
  • Evaluation
  • Grants and Finance
  • Resources
initial structure for erc development
Initial structurefor ERC development

DG Research

(Core Group)

Scientific

Council

B1 unit

SC and ERC Development

Other

responsible

departments

  • Strategy
  • Communication
  • Evaluation system and ERC processes
  • Grants, Finance
  • Resources

ERC political negotiation

slide31

European Events

with ERC participation

  • Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF2006):Munich, 15-19 July 2006, Discussion forum on the European Research Council with the participation of Prof Kafatos
  • FP7 launch event for information multipliersBrussels, 7-9 February 2007, conference aimed at intermediaries and at stakeholders of European research policy
  • ERC launch conferenceBerlin, 26-28 February 2007, organised with the German EU presidency as high-level conference
  • European Research Event with Public ExhibitionBrussels, 7-18 March, Political High-Level Event with Presentations and Exhibition on European Research Success Stories
slide33

Further information

Basic research website:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/future/basic_research/

A new ERC dedicated website !

http://erc.europa.eu