Cyprus among top countries to apply for ERC research grants
Nicosia, Oct 30 – Cyprus ranks high amongst countries which have applied for research grants to the European Research Council, said Director General of the Planning Bureau, Mr. Andreas Moleskis.
In a press conference on the occasion of the ERC Scientific Council publishing the interim results of the first Starting Grant competition, Mr, Moleskis said the data indicates that Cyprus “has a high level of researchers who are in a position to successfully compete with researchers of other more developed countries”.
He said the interest of Cypriot researchers for participation in European research and development procedures has significantly increased.
Mr. Moleskis further referred to the creation of research infrastructure on the island, through the EU structured funds, noting that these are expected to increase the success of Cypriot researchers since they will be able to apply in competitive research programs with researchers from other countries.
As far as the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product in Cyprus for Research and Development, Mr. Moleskis said that although it is one of the lowest in Europe, between 1999-2002 and 2003-2006 the amount provided for research increased by sevenfold.
Specifically, from 1999-2002 a total of €6mil ($8.6mil) were available for research while in the period 2003-2006 a total of €44mil ($63.7) were granted.
He said he was optimistic for the course of research in Cyprus, noting that it is one of the first countries, if not the first, within the EU, with the highest annual development rate in expenditure for research and development.
The Starting Grants aim to support researchers in any field of research, two to nine years after their PhD, who have the potential to become exceptional independent research leaders in any field. The grants amount to between €100,000 ($63,700) and €400,000 ($145,000) per year for a period of up to five years. Nearly €290mil ($580mil) have been allocated to this call.
With applications averaging just above €1mil ($1.4), this should allow more than 250 grants to be financed.