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Commissioner looks for more research council funding

The research commissioner is pursuing increased funding for the European Research Council, given the “remarkable success” of its funding programmes.

Increasing the ERC’s budget is an important goal, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said in Dublin on 22 September. She was speaking at an event celebrating six Irish-based recipients of funding under the Council’s Starting Grant scheme.

The 2011 allocation of €670 million will support 480 researchers across Europe over the next five years, she said.

The council had achieved “remarkable success” and built a “phenomenal reputation abroad” since its foundation in 2008, Geoghegan-Quinn added. “It is based totally on excellence—it doesn’t matter where you are, who you are, your gender.”

She repeated her view that member states must sustain levels of investment in research. “Research, innovation and science is all about making the economy more competitive, creating the jobs and creating the growth,” she said.

“We are laying a foundation that we can build on, and which presents us with the skill sets needed for the future.”