When European government representatives met in Lisbon in the year 2000, and expressed an aspiration that Europe should become the world’s leading knowledge economy by 2010, they agreed on the need to create a body to “fund and co-ordinate basic research at European level.” This was the impetus underlying the creation, in 2007, of the European Research Council (ERC).
Ten years after its foundation, the ERC has become a European success story. It has supported some 6,500 projects through its prestigious grants, and has become a unique model for the fostering and funding of innovative academic research. The Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic is one such ERC-funded project.
To mark the anniversary, events are being held across Europe during ERC Week, running from 13-19 March. At the University of Cambridge, various recipients of ERC grants will be sharing their findings with a wide audience in talks scheduled as part of the Cambridge Science Festival.
“An ERC award is a unique opportunity; it fosters interdisciplinary work. It also fosters analytical tools and the creation of new methods. It offers a great opportunity to work with other people, over a period of 5 years, which is something very unusual, and with quite a liberal framework, so you are able to change and shift your questions, to reformulate them. For me, it means freedom, above everything.”
– Dr Christos Lynteris