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Research and innovation
News article17 December 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

Commission ensures continuation of the European Research Council and appoints top scientists to its governing body

The Commission has today extended the European Research Council (ERC) established for the period 1 January 2014 – 31 December 2020 until the adoption of the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon Europe. The Commission today also appointed five new members to the governing body of the ERC, the Scientific Council, and reappointed 16 current members for the same period.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

I am pleased that we today have extended the European Research Council to ensure continuity and a successful transition to Horizon Europe. This testifies to the importance attached to the ERC for frontier research in Europe. I also warmly welcome the five new members of the ERC Scientific Council; they are bringing additional scientific competence to the governing board of the ERC.

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Interim President of the ERC Scientific Council said:

We very much look forward to welcoming the new members on the ERC’s governing body in the new year. Having a fully functional Scientific Council representing the scientific community in Europe in all its diversity is very important. We will continue to make the case for frontier research and to strengthen the ERC further

The five new members of the ERC Scientific Council are:

  • Professor Liselotte Højgaard, Head of Department at the University of Copenhagen;
  • Professor Dirk Inzé, Science Director and Head of the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology – Belgium;
  • Professor Rodrigo Martins, New University of Lisbon, President of the Portuguese Academy of Engineering;
  • Professor Nicola Spaldin, ETH Zurich;
  • Professor Alice Valkárová, Charles University Prague, President of the Czech Science Foundation.


The European Research Council awards grants through open competitions to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe. The sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence. The Scientific Council, the governing body of the European Research Council, defines the ERC's scientific funding strategy and methodologies. It is composed of 22 members, all eminent scientists and scholars, who represent the scientific community in Europe and are appointed following recommendations by an independent Identification Committee. The ERC President chairs the Scientific Council, ensures its leadership and represent it in the world of science.

More information

ERC funded projects

ERC press release


Publication date
17 December 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation