The Ideas programme seeks to reinforce excellence, dynamism and creativity in European research by funding investigator-driven projects of the highest quality at the frontiers of knowledge.
EU funding in 2010
€ 1.18 billion
In this way, it helps attract the world's best researchers to Europe, encourages industrial research investment, and strengthens EU capacity to generate new knowledge that will feed back into the economy and society.
'Ideas' is implemented by the European Research Council (ERC), an independent scientific council of distinguished scientists, engineers and scholars who establish and monitor the ERC's scientific strategy. An autonomous executive agency handles the operational management.
Two grant schemes form the core of its activities. These are starting grants (StG), supporting researchers at the early stage of their careers, with the aim of creating working conditions which enable them to become independent research leaders; and advanced grants (AdG), to support outstanding and established research leaders by providing the resources to enable them to continue the work of their teams.