Janez Potocnik, European
Commissioner for Science and Research, will meet the new 22-member
Scientific Council, which has been established to head up the future
European Research Council, at its inaugural meeting in Brussels
today. The European Research Council will fund the best of European
science and scholarship, as assessed by peer review, starting from
2007. The new Scientific Council - made up of scientists, engineers,
scholars and research leaders – will play a key role in strengthening
the quality and autonomy of scientific advice which underpins the
research funding decisions made.
“The clear aim of the European Research
Council is to promote scientific excellence, and the best judge
of that are scientists. We want to put high quality, independent
scientific advice at the heart of the decision making process and
make sure that the brightest and best of European research gets
funded”, says Commissioner Potocnik.
In the first instance, the ERC Scientific Council’s
main task will be to lay the foundations for the European Research
Council’s management approach by developing a scientific strategy
and operational methods to be in place for it to start its work
The ERC Scientific Council is composed of 22 renowned
scientists, engineers and scholars, research leaders. The Scientific
Council is an independent body representing the European research
community in all its breadth and depth and acting independently
of political or other interest. Its members act in their personal
capacity. In this way, the Scientific Council will ensure the quality
and autonomy of scientific judgement that are the keys to the ERC’s
success. Its members were proposed by an independent Identification
Committee, chaired by Lord Patten of Barnes and announced by the
Commission on 18 July.
In its proposal for the Seventh Framework Programme
for Research (FP7, 2007-2013), published in April 2005, and its
Specific Programme “Ideas”, published in September 2005,
the Commission proposed the creation of an autonomous European Research
Council to support “frontier research” carried out by
research teams competing at European level, across all scientific
and technological fields, as well as social science and the humanities.
The ERC will fund the best of European science and scholarship,
as assessed by peer review, and will start operations in 2007, assuming
a positive decision of the Council of Ministers and European Parliament
on the Commission’s proposals.
For the announcement of the ERC Scientific Council,
For biographical information on the Members of the
ERC Scientific Council, see MEMO/05/265.
For information on the Identification Committee,
For the Commission’s proposal on FP7 Specific
Programme “Ideas”, see IP/05/1171.
Press and information officer
DG Research, European Commission