ERC funds 133 innovations arising from frontier research

Hundred thirty-three ERC grantees are bringing the results of their frontier research closer to the market thanks to Proof of Concept grants, awarded in three rounds of competition in 2016. The winners of the last round have been announced today. They will receive top-up funding to explore the innovation potential of their ERC-funded discoveries.

The grants will support projects covering a wide array of subjects from the new technology to harvest water from fog in arid areas in Greece, to neuroprotective stroke therapy developed in the Netherlands, to web-based service to diagnose impaired speech in Germany. See more examples.

On this occasion, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Through Horizon 2020, and the ERC in particular, we use EU funding to push the frontiers of science and knowledge. The Proof of Concept scheme is an instrument that encourages and accelerates the transition from the lab to successfully marketed technologies and goods. It helps Europe to spread the ideas and help them diffuse from top researchers to the industry and the society."

The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, commented: "The ERC is about supporting frontier research. Through the Proof of Concept scheme the ERC Scientific Council considered appropriate to provide additional funding to researchers who want to connect their research to possible applications. Projects winning a Proof of Concept grant are a perfect showcase of how research and innovation, the lab and the market or society at large can be linked, pushing the frontiers of science and ultimately making science impact the life of citizens."

The Proof of Concept grants, worth €150,000 each, can be used for example to establish intellectual property rights, investigate business opportunities or conduct technical validation. The scheme is open to ERC grant holders only. The grantees can apply for funding in one of the three rounds of the yearly call.


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