The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awarding of its Starting Grants to 291 early-career researchers, 24 of them from Israel.
This put Israel in the first place in the number of research grants per capita in the framework of Horizon 2010, the European Union’s flagship programme for research and innovation.
The grants, which are awarded under the “excellent science” pillar of Horizon 2020, will enable the young researchers to set up their own research teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas.
Israel’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Space has invested a lot of funds in the Horizon 2020 program, allowing Israelis to compete for the generous research grants, which could reach up to NIS 6 million (about €1.5 million).
“Israel is once again proving its major contribution to scientific research, the innovation and vitality of the young researchers and their ability to think outside the box,” Israeli Science Minister Ofir Akunis said.
Of the 24 Israeli early-career researchers (four women and 20 men), 22 come from the fields of physics, engineering and life sciences and two from the field of humanities and social sciences.
Eight winning researchers are from Tel Aviv University, five from the Hebrew University and four from the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Technion. The rest are from Haifa, Bar-Ilan and Ben-Gurion universities.