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peaceful. Let us celebrate the Europe of small daily progress. We

celebrate the invisible Europe.”

On this anniversary, Portugal celebrated the benefits of EU membership,

not just for itself but also for the millions of Europeans and the other 27

member states. Yet through Erasmus, competition policy and research

and innovation, the EU’s benefits are both isolated and linked, as citizens

choose to either connect or disengage with the European project.

isolation now have tools to co-ordinate their

policies at European level, and thus be more

useful to their scientific communities.

“So prosaic and invisible, for day-to-day

work, European science policy will thus build

a Europe of the future, based on excellence

and knowledge, always for the wellbeing

of Europeans.”

Celebrate Europe

Moedas concluded his speech by reflecting on

this as “a day of celebration” and a “symbolic

day to reflect on the European project”, but

noted that the continent should not shy away

from the battles around the table ahead.

“Do not hide the numerous problems, obstacles

and injustices that we still have to fight. Do not

hide the reforms, nor the disillusionment that

many feel with Europe. There is still a lot to be

done; we should celebrate how much has

already been done. In order to secure greater

ambition, in order to gain new strength. Let us

celebrate the Europe of constant, and

sometimes frustrating, negotiations, but always

B R OW S E

www.ec.europa.eu/commission/2014- 2019/moedas_en/ www.portugal.gov.pt

H O R I Z O N

2 0 2 0

www.horizon2020projects.com

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

I S S U E S E V E N

69

N AT I O N A L F O C U S : P O R T U G A L

Granted success

Following the publication of the results by the European Research

Council, Portugal-based researchers secured a record number of

grants from the ERC in 2014. According to statistics published in

February, a total of 15 researchers secured grants from the blue

sky research funding body.

The secured funding amounted to a total of €26m and comprised

six Starting Grants, which support leading researchers possessing

two to seven years’ experience with a maximum €2m grant over

five years, and nine Consolidator Grants, which assists researchers

with between seven and 12 years’ experience and warrant grants

of up to €2.75m, again over five years.

Institutions benefitting this latest announcement include the

Institute of Molecular Medicine, the Champalimaud Foundation,

the Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova

de Lisboa, and the Instituto Superior Técnico at the University

of Lisbon.

Meanwhile, in May, Portugal’s Ministry of Education and Science

congratulated two researchers who had received Advanced Grants

from the ERC amounting to €2.5m each, from a maximum of

€3.5m. The five-year funding was awarded to bioengineer João

Mano of the University of Minho, and neuroscientist Zachary

Mainen of the Champalimaud Foundation.

Researchers in Portugal have been applying for the highly

competitive ERC grants since 2007, having secured two grants in

that year, followed by one in 2008; four in 2009; seven in 2010;

two in 2011; and nine in 2012 and 2013. ERC funding recognises

the international excellence of selected projects, as well as the

growing success of researchers in Portugal who possess

increasing quality and maturity.

Moedas echoed

former Italian Prime

Minster Mario Monti

famous quote: “When

the European

Commission decides

on competition

matters, everyone

stops to listen to the

roar of the lion”