European Research Council Week 2017

13 March 2017

Commenting at the start of ERC week, Acting Director of the Russell Group Dr Tim Bradshaw said:

Over the past decade the ERC has helped bring together leading researchers from Europe and beyond. The collaborations and research networks this programme has created have led to world-changing discoveries and made a huge difference across the EU. It has also had real practical benefits for the UK.

The ERC has offered a huge amount to the UK and supports researchers at every stage of their career. With funding based on excellence, the UK research sector has been hugely successful in winning competitive grants. Russell Group institutions have been at the forefront of securing this vital funding for UK science.

The impact that this support has had over the past decade cannot be overstated. ERC funding helped researchers at Imperial College developed a scalpel which tells surgeons whether the tissue they are cutting is cancerous. Researchers at Newcastle University are using an ERC grant to develop the next generation of solar cells, increasing the amount of sunlight they can utilise from 35% to over 70%. Another ERC-supported project has grown ‘mini-lungs’ to help improve treatments for cystic fibrosis.The list of breakthroughs and discoveries that we have made with the support of the ERC goes on and on.

Protecting research collaboration across Europe and the funding that this has brought to UK higher education through the ERC and other programmes based on excellence must be a Brexit priority for the government.”



Notes to Editors:

  1. ERC week will run from 13 – 19 March -
  2. Further details on the Imperial College scalpel project are available at
  3. For additional information or case studies please contact the Russell Group press office. 

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