Excellent science

Excellent science raises the level of excellence in Europe's science base and ensures a steady stream of world-class research to secure Europe's long-term competitiveness.

The Excellent Science pillar has four specific objectives:

  • The European Research Council (ERC) provides attractive and flexible funding to enable talented and creative individual researchers and their teams to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science.
  • Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) supports collaborative research in order to extend Europe's capacity for advanced and paradigm-changing innovation. They foster scientific collaboration across disciplines on radically new, high-risk ideas and accelerate development of the most promising emerging areas of science and technology.
  • Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) provide excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers to best prepare them to face current and future societal challenges.
  • Research Infrastructures (including e-infrastructures) (RI) develops European research infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, foster their innovation potential and human capital, and complement this with the related Union policy and international cooperation.
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The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-initiated frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence. Being ‘investigator-driven’, or ‘bottom-up’, in nature, the ERC approach allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions in any field of research, rather than being led by priorities set by politicians.

The Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme aims at developing radically new technologies by exploring novel and high-risk ideas building on scientific foundations.

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowships are European research grants available to researchers regardless of their nationality or field of research. In addition to generous research funding scientists have the possibility to gain experience abroad and in the private sector, and to complete their training with competences or disciplines useful for their careers.

Research infrastructures (RIs) are facilities, resources and services that are used by the research communities to conduct research and foster innovation in their fields.