ERC Starting Grants, italian researchers don't shine

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The European Research Council (ERC) revealed the projects that have won the 2013 edition – the sixth and last one for the FP7 – of the Starting Grants for young researchers. The 287 winners, with a post-doc experience ranging from 2 to 7 years, will be awarded with a total amount of 44 millions of euro (maximum 2 millions for a single researcher) for 5 years of activity. The selected projects covered a wide range of topics that can be viewed here.

“The European Research Council has shaken up the research framework for young talents and improved the role of research in Europe”, said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. “We are funding a kind of research that will contribute to the progress of human knowledge and the development of new products that one day could become part of our daily life. ERC is an established mark of eccellence and Horizon 2020 will allow it to grow even more.”

However, there was a downward trend for Italian researchers: our country was at the bottom of the rank, with only 8 funded projects in the fields of physics, engineering, social sciences and life sciences. Better than us did Spain (14 winners), France (30 winners), Israel (32 winners) and Germany (46).

Here are the names of the Italian winners:

  • Paola Cappellaro, European Laboratory for non Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), with the project Q-SenS2 “Quantum-Enhanced Sensors with Single Spins” (Panel PE2)
  • Marco Vignati, University La Sapienza, with the project CALDER “Cryogenic wide-Area Light Detectors with Excellent Resolution” (Panel PE1)
  • Valentina Bosetti, Bocconi University, with the project RISICO “RISk and uncertainty in developing and Implementing Climate change pOlicies” (Panel SH3)
  • Olivier Collignon, University of Trento, with the project MADVIS “Mapping the Deprived Visual System: Cracking function for prediction” (Panel SH4)
  • Marco Sgarbi, University of Verona, with the project ARISTOTLE “Aristotle in the Italian Vernacular: Rethinking Renaissance and Early-Modern Intellectual History (c. 1400–c. 1650)” (Panel SH5)
  • Massimo Tavoni, Eni Foundation Enrico Mattei, with the project COBHAM “The role of consumer behavior and heterogeneity in the integrated assessment of energy and climate policies” (Panel SH3)
  • Dario Bonanomi, San Raffaele Hospital, with the project NEVAI “Neurovascular Interactions and Pathfinding in the Spinal Motor System” (Panel LS5)
  • Francesco Ricci, University Tor Vergata, with the project NATURE NANODEVICES “Nature-inspired theranostic nanodevices for tumor imaging, early diagnosis and targeted drug-release” (Panel LS7)

The next calls for Starting Grants will be announced under Horizon 2020.

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