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The University of Southampton

New research council to take European research into the global arena

Published: 23 February 2007

An initiative being launched next week aims to engage the creativity and enthusiasm of young academic researchers to ensure that Europe reaches its full research potential.

The European Research Council (ERC), which will be launched at a conference at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities on 27 and 28 February, is the first pan-European funding agency for frontier research across Europe, including science and technology, social sciences and the humanities.

The launch conference, which will address the theme of Excellence in Research through Competition, will be opened by the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel. It is expected to attract approximately 300 high-ranking researchers and marks an historic moment in European research policy, as well as opening up new opportunities for the most talented and imaginative researchers worldwide.

Professor Wendy Hall, Head of the School of Electronics & Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton, is one of only two UK representatives on the Scientific Council of the ERC and will sit on the opening panel on 27 February.

She commented: "It has been a tremendous privilege to be a founding member of the Scientific Council of the ERC. The Council is determined to fund the best research independent of subject discipline, geographical, or political boundaries. By focussing our first call on young researchers we hope to attract the brightest and the best of research talent to Europe."

The conference will also provide a forum for members of the ERC Scientific Council to communicate the Council's strategic intentions and to discuss future directions with the European and international scientific community.

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