ERC: The Netherlands is among the European elite in the field of top research
The Chairman of the European Research Council Prof. Helga Nowotny congratulated the Netherlands on its successful researchers: “The competition for ERC grants is tough, and so I congratulate the Netherlands, which is among the top in terms of the number of grants awarded to researchers.” The European Commission's Director-General for Research and Innovation Robert-Jan Smits added: “The Netherlands is a major player at the highest level in Europe, which shows recognition for the quality of the Dutch researchers, their creativity and openness."
During the conference in Utrecht, the European Research Council discussed the progress of the preparations for Horizon 2020. The ERC budget within Horizon 2020 has increased strongly, to around €13 billion. With this funding the ERC aims to boost scientific excellence in Europe by allowing the very best creative researchers in all scientific domains, irrespective of nationality or age, to compete with each other.
Of the almost 4,000 ERC prizewinners to date, from all over Europe, 330 work in the Netherlands. This means that the Netherlands has obtained almost €600 million in ERC grants, earning them fourth place after the larger EU countries: the UK, Germany and France. Relative to the size of its population, however, this makes the Netherlands the most successful EU Member State. (If all 41 FP7 countries are viewed in terms of the size of their population, Netherlands takes third place behind Switzerland and Israel.)
More information (in Dutch) is available in the ERC press release, which you can download here.