What is ‘frontier research’ and what are its benefits?
Today the distinction between ‘basic’ and ‘applied’ research has become blurred, due to the fact that emerging areas of science and technology often cover substantial elements of both. As a result, the term ‘frontier research’ was coined for ERC activities since they will be directed towards fundamental advances at and beyond the ‘frontier’ of knowledge.
The ERC aims to bring about a wide range of benefits in the following ways:
- By creating open and direct competition for funding between the very best researchers in Europe, the ERC will enhance aspirations and achievements. It will enable the best ideas and talents to be recognised from a larger pool than exists at national level.
- The ERC’s competitive funding will be able to channel funds into the most promising new fields, with a degree of agility not always possible in national funding schemes.
- The ERC aims to stimulate research organisations to invest more in the support of promising new talents – the next generation of research leaders in Europe.
- On the economic side, the ERC will help nurture science-based industry and create a greater impetus for the establishment of research-based spin-offs.
- From a societal perspective, the ERC could provide a mechanism for investing rapidly in research targeted at new and emerging issues confronting society.