The European Research Council celebrates ten years

The roundtable discussion during the event called '10 Years of ERC : Aiming for the Stars' organized as part of the celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the European Research Council*. (Image : Julien Ordan/CERN)

On 6 July, the Globe of Science and Innovation hosted an event as part of the celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC awards significant grants to high-calibre scientists to allow them to carry out cutting-edge research in institutes in the European Union or in associated countries such as Switzerland.

The ERC’s Scientific Council held its plenary meeting at CERN from 4 to 7 July. The Swiss Confederation’s State Secretariat for Training, Research and Innovation and the Euresearch information network decided to take this opportunity to arrange an event called “10 Years of ERC: Aiming for the Stars”. Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, the Swiss Confederation’s Secretary of State for Training, Research and Innovation, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the ERC, and Michael Hengartner, President of swissuniversities, spoke about the importance of the ERC in Europe and Switzerland. François Longchamp, President of the Geneva State Council, also gave a speech on the Canton of Geneva’s support for CERN and for research in general.

Secretary of State Dell’Ambrogio was joined by Reinhilde Veugelers, member of the ERC Scientific Council, Matthias Egger, President of the Swiss National Science Foundation, Martin Vetterli, President of EPFL, and Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of CERN, for a roundtable discussion on the role of the ERC and fundamental research in Europe. Finally, Robert Jan-Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, presented the outlook for the EU’s next research framework programme. The evening concluded with an official dinner hosted by the Secretary of State.

* From left to right: Reinhilde Veugelers, member of the ERC Scientific Council, Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of CERN, Mauro Dell’Ambrogio, the Swiss Confederation’s Secretary of State for Training, Research and Innovation, Matthias Egger, President of the Swiss National Science Foundation, and Martin Vetterli, President of EPFL.