EU grants €25 million to bring frontier research closer to the market

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded today 166 researchers with the Proof of Concept Grants. Worth €150,000 each, these grants help researchers and scientists bridge the gap between the results of their pioneering research and the early stages of commercialisation. They come as top-funding since this scheme is open only to researchers who are or have been previously funded by the European Research Council, via the Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy grants. ERC grantees use the Proof of Concept Grants in various ways, for example to verify the practical viability of scientific concepts, explore business opportunities, or prepare patent applications. As such, they will promote projects in several fields: a biopsychosocial model to uncover and understand causal pathways to harmful adolescent behaviours, using the power of bubbles to achieve more sustainable wastewater treatment, and a process to help medical practitioners read and analyse DNA in real time. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Another round of ERC Proof of Concept Grants, funded by Horizon Europe, has concluded. This top-up funding helps ERC grantees bridge the gap between frontier research and the market, bringing concrete benefits to the industry and addressing societal needs in Europe and beyond.” A recent survey shows that researchers awarded the Proof of Concept Grants are especially entrepreneurial: half of them engage in knowledge-transfer activities or other business ventures. More information is available in this ERC press release