Message by José Manuel Barroso on the occasion of the 5th years anniversary of European Research Council
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 29 February 2012, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, gave a video message on the occasion of the 5th year's anniversary of European Research Council. The European Research Council (ERC) funds outstanding researchers throughout Europe. To celebrate its 5th anniversary, the ERC organised a two-day event in Brussels with first-class research personalities from around the world.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC (in ENGLISH): Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen; I regret not to be able to be with you in person, but I am very pleased that technology is allowing me to join you on this very special day. Exactly five years ago the European research council was launched in Berlin by the Chancellor Merkel fulfilling a long-standing dream of Europe Research Community. It was a successful outcome of a process started in 2005 when I expressed the Commission's commitment to set up a European research council with independent world class scientists, selecting research projects on the basis of scientific excellence. I am so proud that my Commission is so closely associated to the birth of this European research Council. And it is wonderful to see that the ERC has become such a remarkable story for Europe in such a short time. Five years dedicated to supporting 2500 of the very best and brilliant minds not least the younger talents play a key role in stimulating competitiveness and growth in the challenging time we are going through. This is what Europe 2020 is all about, a strategy to get economy back on track over the coming decade, to build a smart sustainable inclusive economy. And innovation is a cornerstone of this strategy and has been given a boost through this innovation Union initiative. History has shown time and again that growth and prosperity go hand in hand with the research innovation, education triangle. The European Research Council is a key pillar of this strategy. Blue sky research, the curiosity driven frontier research often sparks unexpected results and innovation. It opens new opportunities for scientific and technological progress and drives both societal developments and economic growth forward. Tackling the biggest diseases of our time such a different type of cancer of Alzheimer and also novel approaches to energy, efficiency, using improved solar cells are among the best examples of its achievements. The ERC has proven to be efficient, non bureaucratic and cost effective in running its programs. It is a great example of the innovation Union call for doing more, better and faster. But the ERC has also clearly spurred on healthy competition among the top scientists at European level which makes Europe more competitive in a global arena. These scientists are more mobile than ever and research turns sense borders. Europe needs to be a hard spot for the best minds whether they are already here or are attracted from further afield. This is why the Commission has proposed to give it a major funding boost in the European next framework program horizon 2020, for the period 2014-2020. In times of crisis, it would be a missed opportunity for Europe not to invest more in research and in particular in frontier research. We count on the support of the European Parliament and of the Member States to make this happen. Today marks five years of considerable work by the ERC scientific council and the ERC Executive Agency turning this venture into a full-fledged organisation which has already become a beacon for excellence not only on the European Research landscape. Let me conclude by saying happy birthday to this young member of the European family; I wish the ERC good luck with next five years and beyond. I can assure you that you have my strong personal commitment and I believe Science and Research should remain as top priorities for us in Europe. Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to end on this note and wish you a very inspiring event.