The European Research Council (ERC) – the first pan-European funding body for frontier research – was set up in 2007 under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7, the EU’s main instrument for funding research in Europe, running from 2007-2013).

The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-initiated frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence. It aims to make the European research base more prepared to respond to the needs of a knowledge-based society and provide Europe with the capabilities in frontier research necessary to meet global challenges.