Europe funds Cretan researcher’s revolutionary idea

One Greek scientist is among the 59 researchers in Europe that will now get the chance to turn their inventions into viable products with the support of the European Research Council (ERC) “Proof of Concept” grants. Petros Rakitzis is the only Greek researcher to get the funding.

He is a researcher at the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of FORTH and a professor ar the University of Crete. It is actually the third time that Rakintzis is being awarded by the European Research Council (ERC).

Among these mould-breaking ideas are such innovations as a simple blood test to diagnose breast cancer, a timber wood tracking device to help prevent illegal deforestation, and artificial veins modelled on marine sponges.

Worth up to €150,000, these grants will allow selected ERC grantees to build start-ups, establish intellectual property rights for their inventions or explore other ways to test their ideas on the market.

EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas said: ”Europe has plenty of world-class research, but not enough of it reaches the marketable product stage as commercialised, pioneering goods and services.

The Proof of Concept grants will enable some of our top research to compete with the best innovations out there. This will help improve our ability to bring innovations to market, boost competitiveness and create the jobs and growth needed in Europe.”

The 59 grants are part of the second round of the ERC Proof of Concept competition. The budget for the whole call is €18 million. In total, 442 applications were submitted in this call; a 51% increase in comparison to the previous competition.