BioFunding

ERC to boost EU basic research

23.01.2007

A new era in science funding has started this January with the inception of the European research Council (ERC). For the first time, the European Union will channel Euro 7.5 billion of its application-orientated research framework programme into basic research of outstanding excellence. For this year, Euro 292 million have already been earmarked for so-called ‘starting independent researcher grants’ from the Euro 54 billion budget of FP7 (2007-2013), making up one third of the annual Euro 1.25 billion budget of the ERC. In autumn, a second funding scheme termed ‘the advanced investigator grant’ will be introduced. In total, 40% of the ERC’s total budget will be channelled into biological research.

The first call, especially designed for postdoc researchers, was published at the end of December with the aim of supporting independent frontier research. “This is a signal to support not only research into applications but also to back excellent basic research”, said Prof. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, Secretary General of the ERC. “Up to now, little money has been allocated particularly to young researchers by the national research agencies. Furthermore, there is a lot of double work in European labs. With the ERC funds, we want to improve this”, stressed Winnacker.
The German science manager will act as an ‘interface’ between the 22 scientific experts of the ERC’s Scientific Council – which is responsible for ERC strategy, and will draft and overview the implementation of the annual working programme and the evaluation process – and an executive agency (dedicated implementation structure (DIS)/directorate S) of currently 85 staff, established by the European Commission. The agency will implement the working programme, the peer review, and the evaluation process.

Criteria for measuring scientific excellence

Currently, 19 thematic interdisciplinary panels of 10 experts each, which will be supported by up to 50 scientific referees each, will evaluate the project proposals in a 2-step procedure after pre-registration.
In the first step, a project outline (excellence, feasibility, methods) and the qualification of the principal investigator (funding ID, high impact publications, ability to initiate new lines of thinking, novelty of approaches), will be evaluated using a score, qualifying applicants with a score higher than 8 to enter phase 2. In the next step, the full proposal including an assessment of the research environment (e.g. infrastructure) and a presentation will be evaluated. The deadline for pre-proposals will be 25 April 2007. It is expected that the ERC will fund about 200 projects with Euro 100,000 to Euro 400,000 per year. The main challenge for the reviewers will be on identifying promising novel research ideas besides the research mainstream.
A similar funding mechanism has been already established by the US National Science Foundation, which supports US basic researchers (NIH-funded projects excluded) with funds of Euro 4.3 billion annually.
However, research excellence will not be the only criterion for research grants. Because the new funding mechanism is part of the European Union’s framework programme FP7 it will suffer from the same political limitations. There will, for example, not be any equal treatment of European researchers working on human embryonic stem cells, due to differences between national legislations.

Politics / Law

06.03.2012

London – The European Medicines Agency (EMA) calls it “the biggest change to the legal framework since the establishment of the Agency in 1995.” This year, the EU drug regulators are preparing new so-called pharmacovigilance...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

Norway’s Algeta ASA (Oslo) has updated its Phase III survival analysis of Alpharadin in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and bone metastases. The analysis showed an increase of 3.6 months in median overall...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

Genticel S.A. (Toulouse) has completed enrolment in its Phase Ib study of a lyophilised version of the world’s very first therapeutic vaccine ProCervix, which inhibits infection with the cancer-causing Human Papilloma Virus. The...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

The share value of French specialist for cardiometabolic diseases Genfit S.A. (Loos/Lille) took a jump after the company announced its candidate drug GFT505 had met all efficacy endpoints in a pilot Phase II study involving 22...

Clinical Trial

06.03.2012

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the HER2 dimerisation inhibitor pertuzumab developed by Roche (Basel) for previously untreated HER2­-positive metastatic breast...

Politics / Law

06.03.2012

A For years, the world’s major patent offices – including the EPO, USPTO and JPO – have been collaborating in the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programme. Under the PPH, an applicant whose claims have been allowed in one...

BioFunding

06.03.2012

Berlin/Dublin – Two EU initiatives are seeking to better predict response to cancer treatments. Researchers from the a6m RESPONSIFY Project will develop biomarker-based breast cancer prognosis tests that could be used to predict...

BioFunding

06.03.2012

Bremen/Brussels – European researchers kicked-off the MicroB3 (Bio­diversity, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology) project in February. Thanks to a a9m EU fund, the 32 groups involved will create a unique bioinformatic resource that...

BioFunding

06.03.2012

A Brussels – The European Commission is boosting its investments and policy activities to foster sustainability. “Europe needs to make the transition to a post-petroleum economy,” said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn in Brussels. In...

Politics / Law

06.03.2012

Brussels – In February, I heard of a slightly mad and very worrying trend in decisions handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) with regard to IP issues handed up from the national level for clarification....

Displaying results 11 to 20 out of 1982

< Previous 11-20 Next >

© 2007-2014 BIOCOM

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/nc/news/messages-archive/archive/browse/1/article/erc-to-boost-eu-basic-research.html

Print Magazine

Product of the week

Products

Events

All Events

Current issue

All issues