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Most wins for Germany in latest round of ERC Synergy Grants

Germany involved in 18 of 34 new multidisciplinary European Research Council mega-grants

Germany has come out on top in the latest round of European Research Council Synergy Grants, which the prestigious funder described as “one of the most competitive in ERC history”.

Of the 34 collaborative research projects announced on 5 November, 18 included at least one researcher based in Germany.

After Germany, the most successful countries were France, with researchers on 13 projects, and the UK, involved in eight.

The ERC awarded €350 million to the 34 projects, involving 86 universities and research centres based in 22 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.

“I’m proud that the EU, while taking firm action to tackle the immediate challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, is also continuing to invest in our long-term future,” said EU R&D commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

Funded projects include one on the structure and function of the brain, involving four principal investigators all based in France, and one on understanding and predicting disease-causing organisms, involving principal investigators in France, Germany and the United States.

Interim ERC president Jean-Pierre Bourguignon said: “The ERC Scientific Council devised the Synergy Grants to offer a space where ambitious researchers could join forces to tackle multifaceted scientific challenges. I am especially glad to see that so many European laureates look further afield to involve top scientists and scholars working in North and South America, Australia and Japan.”