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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 13 October 2014

Commission congratulates Economics Nobel winner

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2014 has today been awarded to Prof. Jean Tirole "for his analysis of market power and regulation". Since 2009, the work of Prof. Tirole has been funded by the European Research Council (ERC), which supports top scientists and scholars to allow them to pursue their ground-breaking research.

EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, said: "My congratulations go to Prof. Jean Tirole, who has today been awarded the most prestigious prize for Economic Sciences. He is the third ERC grantee to be a Nobel laureate in this year's awards. This shows that the ERC is clearly funding the best of the best - researchers who truly push the frontiers of knowledge. Europe is and will remain on the map when it comes to first-class research."

Commission Vice President Joaquín Almunia, in charge of competition policy, said: "I wish to warmly congratulate Jean Tirole. For competition enforcers, his work has been of major importance. He is one of the sharpest economic theorists having contributed to our understanding of market power and how regulation may effectively curb it. We owe Jean Tirole so much. His work has been central to the economic analysis underpinning many of our instruments in competition policy and beyond. This includes work on vertical agreements, mergers, competition in network industries and so much more. I finally also wish to pay tribute to Jean Tirole's renowned humility. "

Prof. Jean Tirole, based at the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in France, was recognised for his research on competition and analysis of how large companies should be regulated to prevent monopoly behaviour and to protect consumers. He received an ERC Advanced Grant in 2009 to examine how individuals process information before coming to a decision. He has also participated in other research projects funded under the EU's Framework Programmes for Research.

Background

Set up in 2007 by the EU, the European Research Council is the first pan-European funding organisation for frontier research. It aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by funding the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, and supporting their innovative ideas. The ERC grants are open to all scientific disciplines, including social sciences and humanities, which every year receive around one fifth of the total budget. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. The European Commission significantly boosted of the ERC budget, to €13 billion, in the new research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020 (2014-2020).

For more on the Nobel Prize: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2014/press.html

For more on the European Research Council: http://erc.europa.eu/

For more on Horizon 2020: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/


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