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European Research Council Launched; Professor Andreu Mas-Colell to Serve as Secretary General

The official launch conference of the European Research Council (ERC) on February 27-28 in Berlin commenced a new era of excellence in scientific research in Europe.

Barcelona GSE Chairman Andreu Mas-Colell will serve on the first term of the Secretary General of the Council, a role that will enable him to utilize his expertise and experience to shape the future of research in Europe.

The two-day launch conference, which was presided over by German Chancellor and current EU President Angela Merkel, included discussion of strategies to sustain and increase innovative research in Europe and develop a knowledge-based society and economy. Over 250 scientists, researchers, and politicians representing more than 30 countries were in attendance.

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Barcelona GSE Chairman Andreu Mas-Colell

Professor Mas-Colell will serve on the first term of the Secretary General of the ERC from July 2009 - December 2011. He will split the term with Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, who began in January 2007, and is past president of both the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the European Heads of Research Councils.

The European Research Council (ERC) is the first pan-European funding agency for frontier scientific research. It endeavors to encourage the highest quality of research in Europe by ensuring that the most talented researchers have access to the resources and tools necessary to carry out their research. Over the next 7 years, the Council will allocate 7.5 billion euros to various programs in research and development, with a focus on promoting the careers of young and promising researchers.

In addition to his future role as the Secretary General of the ERC, Andreu Mas-Colell is Chairman of the Barcelona GSE and Professor at the Pompeu Fabra University, one of the founding academic institutions of the Barcelona GSE. Previously, he served as Minister of Universities and Research of the Government of Catalonia from 2000-2003, during which time he established a series of institutes and research infrastructures, as well as an innovative publicly funded foundation, ICREA, designed to recruit top researchers internationally.

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