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European Commission - Press release

Marie Curie Actions - 15 years of boosting research careers in Europe

Warsaw, 25-27 September 2011 – The Marie Curie Actions programme, which helps to fund the best researchers in Europe, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. To mark this milestone, Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will join 300 researchers representing various scientific disciplines and nationalities at a conference in the Polish capital. The event also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Marie Sklodowska-Curie, the Polish-French scientist famed for her pioneering work on radioactivity.

"This anniversary is a moment to take of stock of the amazing achievements of the Marie Curie programme, which has supported the training, mobility and skills development of more than 50 000 researchers since its creation in 1996. Our investment in the best researchers delivers clear benefits for a European economy based on knowledge and innovation," said Commissioner Vassiliou.

The theme of the conference, organised by the Polish Presidency and supported by the European Commission's 'People Programme', is "Science – Passion, Mission and Responsibility". Debates will focus on issues such as how to promote Europe as the place to pursue a scientific career, the role of science in tackling challenges faced by society, and how researchers should engage with the public at large.

The conference will also provide input for 'Horizon 2020', the Commission's new programme for research and innovation, which will include the Marie Curie Actions and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. The Commission has proposed €80 billion in funding for the new programme in 2014-2020, compared to €55 billion for research under the current budget round. Commissioner Vassiliou is calling for significantly more support for the Marie Curie programme, which has received €4.7 billion in 2007-2013.


The Marie Curie Actions have supported more than 50 000 researchers of nearly 130 different nationalities since the programme's creation in 1996. More than half of the funding allocated through the programme is aimed at research into major societal challenges such as health, energy supply and climate change (see table below).

The scheme invests in the training and career development of researchers at every stage from post-graduate level. It directly responds to the commitments of the European Union's 'Innovation Union' by attracting and training young people to become researchers and by offering high-quality doctoral training, with business involvement, to promote internationally competitive research careers in Europe.

The Marie Curie Actions also encourage the mobility of researchers across sectors, disciplines and countries and in this way contribute to the goals of the EU's Youth on the Move initiative.

As well as benefitting individual researchers, the Marie Curie Actions also support closer collaboration between research organisations, universities and businesses from all over the world. So far, more than 70 countries have been involved in Marie Curie projects.

To foster closer cooperation between universities and businesses, and to train the next generation of scientists in better understanding both academic and business cultures, the Commission recently launched a new pilot initiative called "European Industrial Doctorates". This gives young researchers the opportunity to carry out their doctoral training in both a university or research institute and at a company, in different Member States or other countries involved in the Commission's research programme.

The Marie Curie Actions are managed by the Research Executive Agency, which manages parts of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), one of the pillars of the Europe 2020 strategy for sustainable and inclusive growth.

To find more about the symposium, see:

To find more about the Marie Curie Actions, see:


Budget for the Marie Curie Actions

Framework Programme


Budget of the programme
(€ Million)

% of the budget of the FP





















Share of Marie Curie funding per scientific field (2007 to August 2011)

COFUND Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes

CHE Chemistry

ECO Economic sciences

ENG Engineering & Information science

ENV Environment & Geosciences

LIF Life sciences

MAT Mathematics

PHY Physics

SOC Social sciences & Humanities

Share of Marie Curie funding for societal challenges (2007 to August 2011)

51% of the Marie Curie funding goes to projects aimed at addressing major societal challenges.

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58)

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

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