The European Research Council (ERC) is part of the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). It is set up by the European Commission to support investigator-driven frontier research and was established in February 2007 on the basis of the FP7 IDEAS specific programme, with a total budget of 7.5 billion Euro (2007-2013).
Its main aim is to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by supporting and encouraging the very best, truly creative scientists, scholars and engineers, who are invited to submit their individual proposals in any field of research.
The ERC consists of an independent Scientific Council and an Executive Agency acting on behalf of the European Commission. The ERC Scientific Council defines the scientific strategy and methodologies, whereas the ERC Executive Agency implements and applies these strategies and methodologies in the management and operations of the ERC funding activities in the legal context of FP7.
The ERC Executive Agency was formally established in December 2007 and gained administrative autonomy on 15 July 2009.
The ERC operates transparently with autonomy and integrity which is guaranteed by the European Commission, to which it is accountable. The European Commission assumes final responsibility for the execution of FP7and its budget.
The ERC Executive Agency manages the following tasks: