The European Union is on the lookout of groundbreaking research ideas from young Australian scientists. The European Research Council has decided to open up one of its streams to fund Australian scientists as part of the overseas team.

Negotiations are also on to make Australia an associated nation for European research. This would provide Australian scientists more global opportunities to work and collaborate.

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, President of the European Research Council, says that the money available is substantial but the process is extremely competitive. Unless the idea has the potential to be groundbreaking, one does not really stand a chance, added Bourguignon, as per

Scientists from Australia may now be part of the team who are applying for grants to the ERC. The application process ends in November this year.

However, Bourguignon expects to see more applications from Aussie scientists in 2019 as that would give them more time to prepare. He also says that most of the funding usually goes to scientists early in their careers, usually under the age of 40. The ERC really wants to encourage young people to come up with their innovative and ambitious ideas.

The European Union is the largest investor in science and research across the globe. EU has funded the Horizon 2020 program to provide $120 billion over a span of 7 years.

Australia has a large stake in Horizon 2020 with over 180 Aussie researchers working with European teams participating in the program.

The Copernicus satellite program is one of the ambitious projects funded by Horizon 2020. This project provides coverage to monitor conditions of drought, track natural disasters, and the growth of the Great Barrier Reef.

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