EU shows high risk research rewards

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About a fifth of the money that the European Union provided in 2017 to fund high-risk research has helped create a scientific breakthrough, a self-review carried out by the European Research Council (ERC), the most prestigious science funding agency of the EU has found.

It found that 19% of 223 completed ERC projects it assessed led to fundamental breakthroughs and 79% to major scientific advances, says a report on Nature.

More than a fourth of projects (27%) that received ERC Advanced Grants, awarded to senior, experienced researchers, achieved fundamental breakthroughs.

Published on 31 May, the study found that only 1% of the projects did not make an appreciable scientific contribution.

ERC, established in 2007, is the European Union’s premier funding agency that funds quality research. The review was conducted by senior scientists for ERC’s Scientific Council.

About 90% of the projects ERC funds are cosidered high-risk and high reward.

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