Press Release 027/2017

European Cutting-edge Research at KIT

Ten Years European Research Council – Celebration Event at KIT: Scientists Present Outstanding Projects
Ten years ERC: So far, the European Research Council has funded twelve scientists of KIT and their cutting-edge projects. (Graphics: ERC)
Ten years ERC: So far, the European Research Council has funded twelve scientists of KIT and their cutting-edge projects. (Graphics: ERC)

Grantees of the European Research Council (ERC) have won six Nobel prizes, three Fields medals, and five Wolf prizes so far. This year, the ERC celebrates its 10th anniversary. At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), twelve researchers have received one of the renowned ERC grants. The celebration event “ERC = science² | European Cutting-edge Research at KIT” is KIT’s contribution to the anniversary program. It will take place on March 16, 2017, 18 hrs, on Campus South of KIT (Engelbert-Arnold-Straße 2, building 11.30). The interested public and representatives of the media are cordially invited.


“Outstanding scientific achievements are of crucial importance to the development of society in Germany and Europe and the prerequisite for managing big challenges, such as the energy transition, compliance with the climate goals, advancing digitization, and future mobility,” says KIT Vice President for Research, Professor Oliver Kraft. “For ten years now, the European Research Council has been supporting outstanding ideas and best talents, also at KIT. We congratulate the ERC on this anniversary and on its success! At the same time, we are very proud of the scientists of KIT, who were successful with their excellent ideas in the hard competition for ERC funds.”


So far, twelve scientists of KIT have acquired ERC grants, including seven Starting Grants, by means of which the ERC funds pioneer projects of young scientists. KIT researchers also received two Consolidator Grants for top researchers with seven to twelve years experience after their doctorate as well as two Advanced Grants for established researchers pursuing ground-breaking projects to advance the state of the art in their discipline. This corresponds to funding in the total amount of approx. EUR 22 million. The competition for these funds is very hard. In the 2016 call for Starting Grants, 2935 proposals were submitted. Only 325 were funded (11%).


During the celebration event at KIT, three KIT researchers who received an ERC Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant, and Advanced Grant, respectively, will present their research work. After this, they will discuss with the public about their experience with ERC funding and about the relevance of social aspects to discourse for their discipline. “Starting a dialog with the citizens and, in the best case, making use of it for research is in line with the public science concept. I think that this is extremely important,” says Professor Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha, Director of ZAK | Center for Cultural and General Studies, who will present the panel discussion.


The host of the celebration event is KIT Vice President for Research, Professor Oliver Kraft. The event will be organized by KIT’s Research Office and ZAK.


Program: erc = science² | European Cutting-edge Research at KIT


Thursday, March 16, 2017, 18.00 hrs, entrance hall of building 11.30,

Engelbert-Arnold-Straße 2, Campus South of KIT


Welcome Professor Oliver Kraft, KIT Vice President for Research
Moderation Professor Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha, Director of ZAK | Center for Applied and General Studies of KIT

10 Years ERC – Funding Options for Excellent Scientistsn

Dr. David Krása, ERC Executive Agency, Brussels

ERC Starting Grant | Terabit Communication – for More Rapid and More Energy-efficient Data Transmission

Professor Christian Koos, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ), KIT
ERC Consolidator Grant | Quantum Technology with Natural and Artificial Spins

Dr. Martin Weides, Physikalisches Institut (PHI)

ERC Advanced Grant | Molecular Scissors for Plant Cultivation

Professor Holger Puchta, Botanical Institute (BOTANIK)

Panel Experience Gained with the ERC and Social Aspects Relevant to Research in Public Discourse.


The panel discussion will be followed by a reception.

Admission will be free. No registration is required.

The presentations will be recorded and then published at


More information:


Ten Years ERC

In 2007, the European Commission established the European Research Council, ERC, with the mission to encourage excellent frontier research in Europe through competitive funding and support top researchers across all fields and of any nationality. Today, the ERC is the most important and renowned institution for funding fundamental research in the European Union. ERC grants are to enable researchers to implement their ground-breaking projects with highest flexibility, without political prioritization and without hierarchical restrictions. The funds ranging from EUR 1.5 to 2.5 million depending on the funding line are specifically granted for new, promising research fields. Funding is recommended exclusively on the basis of the project proposal’s scientific excellence. In 2017, the ERC celebrates its 10th anniversary. Research institutions from all over Europe contribute to the anniversary program with special events.


More information on ERC funding and support by KIT’s Research Office: (in German only)
More information on the anniversary of the ERC:


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

le, 06.03.2017


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