On 20th of June 2018, the president of TÜBİTAK, Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal chaired a meeting with European Research Council (ERC) grant holders and ERC panellists from Turkey. During the meeting, ideas were exchanged about the steps that could be taken in support frontier research and thus innovative approaches to increase Turkey’s ERC Program performance.
Additionally, Prof. Dr. Hasan Mandal presented novel support programmes and approaches to foster Turkey’s science, technology, and innovation ecosystems and stressed the importance of supporting frontier research in Turkey. In the meeting, Hande Alpaslan, Director for Science, Technology and Innovation Policies of TÜBİTAK also presented the plans for developing a model for supporting frontier research in Turkey.
The ERC grant holders and panellists underlined the importance of national support systems mirroring ERC and their critical role for Turkish Research Area. They indicated that those type of support systems would increase the quantity and quality of the ERC applications from Turkey. The participants also elaborated that developing frontier research support programme would render Turkey a centre of attraction at international level for competitive research and researchers.
The participants, who made recommendations for improving Turkey’s performance in Horizon2020 and ERC, emphasized the importance of the current Horizon 2020 supports and awards offered to researchers by TÜBİTAK. Additionally, the importance of developing various national initiatives for encouraging researchers to apply to the ERC programme was also elaborated.
As a result of the consultations held at the meeting, a consensus was reached on the importance of developing ERC like support mechanism to fund high-budget, high impact projects is vital for frontier research in Turkey and TÜBİTAK will further accelerate its endeavours towards this aim.
Scientific Excellence as the criteria of the European Research Council (ERC)
ERC programme which was established during FP7 in 2007 with a budget of 7.5 Billion Euros, continues with a budget of 13.1 Billion Euros in Horizon 2020 Programme to be implemented between the years 2014 and 2017. ERC only elaborates frontier research projects and scientists offering those projects according to scientific excellence and supports multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary new ideas and innovative approaches. Among the ERC grant holders, there are 6 “Nobel Prize” winners and 3 “Field Medal” owners.