ICFO and the ERC: Two birthdays and ten years of success stories

By March 17, 2017ICFO

This year, the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and the European Research Council (ERC) are celebrating birthdays.

Ten years ago, the European Commission established the ERC with the mission to encourage excellence in frontier research across Europe through competitive funding, supporting top researchers across all fields and of any nationality. At the time of the ERC’s founding, ICFO was a young, ambitious research center celebrating its fifth birthday, having just moved out of rented premises in Barcelona and into the first phase of its purpose built facility in Castelldefels. On March 15th, ICFO celebrated its 15th birthday. Their facilities have grown into a 14,000 m2 state-of –the art complex where over 1000 talented women and men from around the world have come to conduct research at the highest level. ICFO is on the map as a globally recognized center for research excellence, and continues to grow.

It is clear that a center like ICFO owes its success to the people and entities that have believed in and supported the broad fundamental and applied research that they conduct. The ERC has played a crucial role in ICFO’s growth through the 25 ERC grants awarded to researchers at the center to date that have given wings to ambitious high risk- high impact projects.

• 9 Starting Grants: Grants for young, talented research leaders that allow them to gain independence in Europe and to build their own careers. (2-7 years of experience post PhD)

• 4 Consolidator Grants: Grants for researchers who have young research teams and are looking to consolidate a successful career in Europe. (7-12 years of experience post PhD)

• 5 Advanced Grants: Grants that allow outstanding research leaders with significant demonstrated achievements over the past 10 years to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects in Europe.

• 7 Proof of Concepts Grants: Designed to support ERC grantees with the commercial or societal application of the results of their funded research.

More information can be found on the ICFO website.