More of Australia's top health and medical scientists will have the opportunity to join high-calibre research teams in Europe thanks to a new initiative funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australia’s leading government investor in health and medical research, is the twelfth research agency to take part in the initiative, which is part of the ERC's international strategy.
The deal was signed on 22 October by Prof. Anne Kelso, NHMRC CEO, and, on behalf of the European Commission, by Michael Pulch, Ambassador of the European Union to Australia, in Canberra. The agreement aims to help talented NHMRC-funded researchers join ERC teams and perform cutting-edge science.
"This new initiative is an important step to encourage Australian bright minds to spend time in high-calibre teams in Europe, funded by the EU through the European Research Council - such scientific cooperation in the field of health and medicine will benefit both sides. I am convinced that building bridges between Australia and the European Union will further foster world-class science," Ambassador Pulch said.
Welcoming the agreement, ERC President, Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said: "My recent visit to some key research institutions in Australia allowed me to see the extent to which Australia-based scientists already cooperate with Europe and are eager to go even further. This signature reaffirms the ERC's belief in the importance of cross-border science and an open world in which the brightest minds can participate in knowledge creation through exchange and in this way contribute to science advancement."
The ERC is Europe's premiere funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Part of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, it offers long-term grants in Europe to top scientists of any nationality and in any field. To date, 46 Australian researchers have been awarded ERC grants across Europe, worth a total of over EUR 75 million, of which 25 are carrying out their blue sky research in the field of Life Sciences. In addition, it is estimated that around 300 team members of Australian nationality have been engaged in ERC-funded projects.
European Research Council https://erc.europa.eu/news/new-agreement-encourages-top-australian-researchers-come-europe