Speech by President von der Leyen at "Celebrating 10 000 grantees" by the European Research Council
Speech given yesterday by President von der Leyen at "Celebrating 10 000 grantees" by the European Research Council.
"Check against delivery"
Thank you President Bourguignon,
Thank you President Sassoli,
Today we celebrate ten thousand stories of ingenuity, hard work and endurance. We celebrate people who have pushed the boundaries of human knowledge a bit further. And we celebrate the institution that put trust in them, giving them the possibility to try, to innovate, to discover something new. This is why the European Research Council was created, fourteen years ago: to give European scientists the freedom to explore the frontiers of knowledge.
This is the foundation of human progress. Everyone knows the story of Newton's apple. But after he saw an apple falling from a tree, it took Newton over ten years to first publish his theory. Science takes time, dedication and yes, it needs resources.
Let me borrow the words of Professor Uğur Şahin. I believe you all know his name: He is the founder of BioNTech, who together with his wife Özlem Türeci developed the first mRNA vaccine against Covid. And he, too, is a grantee of the European Research Council.
Professor Şahin recently said: “The success of an idea is rarely based on a single discovery, but on long-term persistence and financial support of early pioneers believing in a vision.” This is the mission of the European Research Council. It provides researchers with the time, the trust and the resources they need, so they can turn their intuitions into scientific breakthroughs. For this reason, two-thirds of ERC grants have been awarded to early stage researchers.
45,000 PhD students and postdocs worked on projects financed by the European Research Council. It's a new generation of scientists, and it's “made in Europe”.
At the same time, support from the European Research Council has led to ground-breaking discoveries. The list of achievements by ERC grantees is simply stunning. Seven Nobel Prizes. The first real image of a black hole. The concept of planetary boundaries, which is crucial to our understanding of climate change.
And I could continue. This kind of innovation will be even more necessary in the years ahead. We need the help of science to address the great challenges of our times, from climate change to mastering the digital age, to fighting pandemics.
Thus I am proud that the new European budget includes 16 billion euros for the European Research Council. This is unprecedented, and we had to fight for it. But these resources can make a huge difference for European researchers.
Today we announce the ten-thousands grant from the ERC. It took fourteen years to get here. Now, with the new funding, we could finance another 10,000 grants already in the next seven years. So we are going twice as fast, as in the past.
Europe believes in science. And we believe in our researchers. So congratulations to the 10,000th grantee and to the European Research Council for 10,000 stories of scientific excellence, and many more to come.
Many thanks and congratulations again.
Latest News from
Talent Partnerships: Commission launches new initiative to address EU skills shortages and improve migration cooperation with partner countries11/06/2021 16:33:00
Today, the Commission is launching Talent Partnerships, a key initiative under the New Pact on Migration and Asylum that will help to address skills shortages in the European Union and to strengthen mutually-beneficial partnerships on migration with third countries.
Central America and Mexico: EU reaffirms support with €18.5 million in humanitarian and development aid11/06/2021 15:25:00
The EU yesterday announced at the 'Solidarity event for forcibly displaced persons and host communities in Central America and Mexico', that it will allocate €18.5 million in aid. Of this sum, €12 million represents humanitarian funding to Central America, and €6.5 million constitutes development assistance.
Council endorses new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change11/06/2021 14:38:00
The Council yesterday approved conclusions endorsing a new strategy that outlines a long-term vision for the EU to become a climate-resilient society that is fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change by 2050.
Child Labour: Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative on the World Day against Child Labour11/06/2021 13:25:00
Child Labour: Statement given by the European Commission and the High Representative on the World Day against Child Labour.
Education: EU increases its commitment to Global Partnership for Education with a pledge of €700 million for 2021-202711/06/2021 12:38:00
Ahead of the G7 Summit, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen yesterday announced that the European Union is pledging €700 million for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to help transform education systems for more than one billion girls and boys in up to 90 countries and territories.
EU external action budget: European Commission welcomes the final adoption of the EU's new long-term external action budget for 2021-202711/06/2021 11:33:00
The European Commission welcomes the European Parliament's decision to adopt the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – ‘Global Europe' for the period 2021-2027.
Speech by President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the conclusions of the special meeting of the European Council of 24-25 May 2021 and preparation of the G7 Summit of 11-13 June 2021 and the EU-U.S. Summit11/06/2021 10:38:00
Speech given recently (09 June 2021) by President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the conclusions of the special meeting of the European Council of 24-25 May 2021 and preparation of the G7 Summit of 11-13 June 2021 and the EU-U.S. Summit.
Report by President Charles Michel to the European Parliament plenary session11/06/2021 09:25:00
Hijacking a plane is piracy. With 171 passengers on board, it is kidnapping. When these acts are carried out by the state, it’s hostage-taking and state piracy.
Sustainable fisheries: Commission takes stock of progress in the EU and launches consultation on fishing opportunities for 202210/06/2021 16:33:00
The Commission yesterday adopted the Communication “Towards more sustainable fishing in the EU: state of play and orientations for 2022”.
EU citizens' electoral rights: Commission decides to refer CZECHIA and POLAND to the Court of Justice10/06/2021 15:25:00
The European Commission yesterday decided to refer Czechia and Poland to the Court of Justice, because in these two Member States EU citizens are restricted from joining a domestic political party.