The Expert Group charged with advising the European Council of Ministers on the establishment of an European Research Council (ERC) has delivered its final report, strongly supporting the need for an ERC.
The report calls for the establishment of a European Fund for Research Excellence, with the ERC managing the fund. “The first and main task for the ERC should be to support investigator-driven research of the highest quality selected through European competition,” it says.
The experts recommend an ERC budget of €2 billion per year, and suggest the ERC should be funded through the next Framework Programme, the centralized EU program for research funding.
“The ERC should primarily be a funding body for basic research and should cover all fields of science,” the report says. “It should… use a rigorous and transparent peer review process in deciding which research proposals to fund [and] encourage interdisciplinary and risk-taking...