Access to Funding

ERC funds 45 excellent scientists to commercialise their research results

The European Research Council (ERC) announced 45 grant holders who will receive top-up funding to investigate commercial applications of their frontier research results. The grants, worth up to €150,000, cover costs of activities to verify the innovation potential of ERC-funded projects.   

The Proof of Concept scheme is open to ERC grant holders only. This year's call will be done in instalments with three deadlines for applications. In this first round, 45 researchers based in 13 countries are being funded (see list of winners below). Their projects cover a spectrum of topics: from improving the cultivation of medicinal plants, to building car engines using nanomaterials and boosting turnout in elections by increasing the satisfaction of first-time voters.

The total budget of the 2015 Proof of Concept competition is € 20 million, of which € 6.7 million is earmarked for this first round. Projects submitted in the second round of the call are now under evaluation and the results will be known later this year. ERC grant holders can still apply for the third round of the call (deadline on 1 October 2015). This is the first time that applicants can only submit their project proposals in one of the three rounds (see ERC Work Programme 2015)

Two of the 45 grant recipients are based at UMC Utrecht. Timothy Radstake is professor of Translational Immunology and is involved in various businesses that focus on the development of novel therapeutics. The ERC grant will be used to discover new early diagnostic tools for the autoimmune disease systemic sclerosis.  Nicolas Ramsey works at the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus as Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience. He previously received the Phase 1 and Phase 2 Valorisation Grants from Technology Foundation STW. With the ERC grant he will develop a prototype implant that monitors brain function and has the potential to influence damaged parts in the brain to reactivate. The grant will support the development of a business plan and optimising opportunities for product commercialisation. 

See the list of the 45 winners by country of host institution.