European Research Council - ERC

The European Research Council is the dominant body for the Ideas Specific Programme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development - FP7. The  ERC  consists  of  a  Scientific  Council  (which  sets  up  the strategy to foster research excellence) and an Executive Agency (which implements it). The ERC Executive Agency is the administrative organism of the ERC. It manages the awards of ERC grants.

The main aim is to stimulate scientific excellence by supporting and encouraging the very best, truly creative scientists, engineers and scholars to be adventurous and take risks in their research. The ERC funds investigator-led frontier research. There are three ERC core funding schemes and two additional schemes (Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants, Synergy Grants and Proof of Concept)

The ERC is independent from the European Commission though it received its funds as part of the FP7.