French mathematician Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon has taken over as president of the European Research Council (ERC), the first pan-European funding organisation for frontier research.
The appointment coincides with the start of the EU’s biggest ever research funding programme, Horizon 2020, worth nearly EUR 80 billion over the next seven years. The ERC’s budget has been increased to over EUR 13 billion under the new programme.
Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon will be the first ERC president to be based in Brussels in a reinforced role that will enable him to ensure closer cooperation with the European Commission, and monitor the implementation of the ERC Scientific Council’s strategy.
‘Professor Bourguignon is the right choice for this task, given his distinguished academic career, international renown, and proven record of leadership.’
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science
‘Professor Bourguignon is the right choice for this task, given his distinguished academic career, international renown, and proven record of leadership,’ said Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. ‘I am confident that he will defend the ERC principles of excellence and independence.’
He is the third president of the ERC since its launch in 2007, and succeeds Austrian social scientist Professor Helga Nowotny, who headed the organisation from 2010 to 2013.
Prof. Bourguignon, who took over at the start of the year, was the first chairman of the ERC’s mathematics peer review panel. As the ERC president, he has been given a four-year mandate, which is renewable once.
Discussing his new role in an interview posted on the ERC’s website, Prof. Bourguignon said: ‘I measure the responsibility ... in particular because of the fantastic success that the ERC has been in such a short period of time.’
Prof. Bourguignon was the Director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS) from 1994 till 2013. This international research institute located near Paris, France, was built as the European counterpart of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, US.
He is a fellow of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). He has received several awards for his research from the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. He is also a foreign member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences, and has been made Doctor Honoris Causa of Keio University, Japan, and Nankai University, China.
The interview with the new president of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon:
A group of chemicals known as bi-metallics could help the pharmaceutical industry become more environmentally friendly by cutting the amount of energy used to produce drugs, according to Professor Eva Hevia from the University of Strathclyde, UK, who says that sustainability is a top priority for chemists.
As wind turbines become increasingly familiar sights along shorelines, developers of offshore floating platforms, which harness the powerful winds further out to sea, are seeking to establish their technologies as a major viable source of clean energy.
Bill Gates and the European Commission have launched a €100 million investment fund designed to bring radical clean energy technologies more quickly to market in order to promote energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Floating wind turbines could be a clean energy game changer.
Europe's leadership 'more important than ever', says Gates.
A circular economy needs new business models and reusable products, says Felipe Maya.