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European Innovation Council

Statement from the EIC-ERC contact group co-chairs

The European Research Council (ERC) and the European Innovation Council (EIC) respective visions on excellent science and excellent innovation complement each other by developing and attracting outstanding talent in Europe. Through the combination of breakthrough scientific knowledge and ground-breaking innovative mindsets, they deliver benefits to society through research and innovation. For these reasons, members of the ERC Scientific Council and EIC pilot Advisory Board are working together to smooth the journey from frontier science to disruptive innovation. One example is the new EIC Transition funding programme that enables ERC Proof of Concept projects to take the next big steps towards innovations with real world impact. A second example is the organisation of a series of thematic workshops to bring the worlds of research and innovation closer and to identify key emerging trends in areas that will shape our lives in the near and distant future.

We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the first joint thematic workshop on Cell and Gene Therapy, a field that has extraordinary promise in applying scientific knowledge to the treatment of patients. The workshop also highlights the pioneering role of EIC Programme Managers who have a high level of experience in the worlds of science and innovation and so are uniquely placed to make this bridge. EIC Programme Manager Iordanis Arzimanoglou conceived and brought together this first workshop, working with members of the EIC pilot Advisory Board and the ERC Scientific Council, whose contribution in identifying scientific thematic areas and speakers has been crucial to the success of the event. Through their efforts, the workshop gathered together leading researchers and innovators from the ERC and EIC portfolios, and provided a platform to discuss the key emerging trends in the field from different perspectives.

Building on the success of this first event, further joint thematic workshops will be organised to discuss fast moving fields of science and their potential for innovations benefitting society.

We look forward with excitement and enthusiasm to future EIC-ERC collaboration activities.

Mark Ferguson

Chair of the pilot EIC Advisory Board

Co-Chair of the EIC-ERC Contact Group


Kurt Mehlhorn

Chair of the ERC Scientific Council Working Group on innovation

Co-Chair of the EIC-ERC Contact Group

Chair of the Cell and Gene Therapy Organising Committee