Science at the service of Europe


Top researchers provide the inspiration

The IDEAS Programme promotes excellence, dynamism and creativity in European research by financing top researchers and their teams to push the boundaries of knowledge.

EU funding in 2008
€528.39 million

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"IDEAS enables top researchers to pursue creative ideas that could become tomorrow’s sustainable innovations, underpinning economic prosperity and ensuring societal welfare."

The IDEAS Programme supports frontier research solely on the basis of scientific excellence, on the understanding that top researchers are best placed to identify new opportunities and directions likely to yield breakthrough innovations. Furthermore, EU-wide competitive funding raises the aspiration, achievement and visibility of Europe's research pioneers. In addition, it strengthens Europe’s ability to generate knowledge, and makes the region more attractive to researchers and investors.

IDEAS is implemented by the European Research Council (ERC), comprising an independent Scientific Council of distinguished scientists, engineers and scholars to direct and monitor the ERC's funding strategy, together with an Executive Agency that handles the operational management. It builds on previous experience with the FP6 NEST initiative on New and Emerging Science and Technology, which was the first truly investigator-driven programme covering all fields of research.