The so-called 'proof of concept' grants, each worth up to €150,000, are dedicated to researchers that want to bridge the gap between their pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation. The researchers will now investigate business opportunities, establish intellectual property rights or conduct technical validation to proof their scientific concept.
They will for example work on the development of a universal flu vaccine, put together an atlas of the human sub-cortex for deep brain stimulation of people suffering Parkinson's and other neurological diseases, refine an environmentally friendly production of menthol or employ deep learning algorithms for the automatic detection of fake news (see more project examples).
The European Research Council is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research and is part of the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. It will remain a key component of Horizon Europe, the future research funding programme outlined in the Commission's proposal for the long-term budget for the 2021-2027 period. ERC grantees can apply for 'proof of concept' grants during three rounds in 2018 with an overall budget of €20 million.
More information including the list of winners is available in a news item.