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Set up by the European Union in 2007, the European Research Council (ERC) is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Part of the Horizon Europe programme, it funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four main grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. To name just one recent example of its success: three of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates have received substantial funding for their research from the European Research Council.

Luxembourg and the European Research Council: a success story

Luxembourg’s participation in ERC started with Horizon 2020, the framework programme for research and innovation preceding Horizon Europe, and it is a great success story. Having had no ERC grants before, the country was able to attract 16 grants under Horizon 2020, for a total financial contribution of €24.05 million. Since the beginning of Horizon Europe, 3 further proposals have been approved.

The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe programme, under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.

Professor Ottersten in the ERC Scientific Council

In this success story, Professor Björn Ottersten, the founding Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust at the University of Luxembourg, has played a distinguished role. He is the recipient of two ERC Advanced Grants and two ERC Proof-of-Concept Grants. He has been Digital Champion of Luxembourg, acting as an adviser to the European Commission, member of the governing board of the Swedish Research Council, and is currently serving on the governing board of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research. He serves, and has served, as member of several international scientific advisory boards as well as editorial boards of scientific journals. He was a member of the board of governors of IEEE Signal Processing Society and acts on the board of directors of the European Association for Signal Processing (EURASIP), the two main international scientific organizations in his field.

As a recognition of his extraordinary career within the European Research Council and beyond, he has been appointed together with other four eminent scientists and scholars as new members of the governing body, the Scientific Council, composed of 22 distinguished researchers representing the European scientific community.

“We are proud of this appointment, which represents a recognition of the quality of the research sector of Luxembourg,” comments Stefano Pozzi Mucelli, Head of European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation. “We wish Professor Ottersten the best on this new, great achievement!”

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