More opportunities for Indian top talent to join ERC teams in Europe

by michael rogers

Highlight | 06-10-2017

On the margins of the recent European Union-India Summit in New Delhi, an agreement was concluded between the EU and India to encourage research visits of Indian top researchers in teams funded by the European Research Council (ERC) in Europe. In line with the ERC global approach, this is the tenth international initiative of this kind, which comes at a time when the ERC also marks its tenth anniversary.

Tomasz Kozłowski, EU Ambassador to India, and Dr Rajiv Sharma of the Scientific Engineering Research Board (SERB) signed the agreement, in the presence of ERC President Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The initiative will encourage Indian top talent (early career researchers, national post-doctoral fellows and doctoral candidates), pre-selected by the SERB, to join ERC-funded teams in Europe for periods of up to one year.

On the occasion of the signing, the EU Ambassador Mr Kozłowski said, "This initiative reinforces the EU's policy of Open Science, Open Innovation and Open to the World. It will act as a gateway for top Indian researchers to partner with their European counterparts to create world class science. The agreement builds upon past positive experience between EU and India cooperation on research and innovation and will lead to a growing relationship which is mutually beneficial and naturally reinforcing."

ERC President Bourguignon said: "Cross-border science collaboration is essential for pushing the frontiers of knowledge. I am therefore very pleased to see the launch of the tenth initiative of this kind that the ERC has been involved in, this time with India - a country of great scientific tradition that hosts much research talent and potential. I am confident that Indian scientists will bring valuable insights to ERC-funded teams and will in turn benefit from the confirmed or newly established collaborations. Such new possibilities resonate with the ERC's strategy to be open to the world."

So far, some 43 Indian researchers have been awarded ERC grants, which makes Indians rank third in terms of ERC grantees of non-European nationality.

These agreements, called implementing arrangements, are already running with nine other countries across the globe: US, South Korea, Argentina, China, Japan, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil and Canada. Thanks to these arrangements, scientists who are based outside of Europe and are supported by non–European funding agencies can temporarily join research teams led by ERC grant holders.

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