Nicola Pugno, full Professor at the Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanic engineering of the University of Trento was in Brussels recently, with the Rector, Paolo Collini, for a double reason: the celebration of the 5000th ERC grant awarded by the ERC at the Solvay Library, 8 years after the start of the programme, and an audition at the European Parliament.
“I believe that the final objective of science and technology should always be the enhancement of the quality of life of people”, Pugno stated. “In Europe this implies the fundamental support of the European Parliament, above all through the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy, and the ERC”.
In his speech at the EP, the ERC President, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon highlighted the importance of the European policies and investments to support excellence research. He was accompanied by the 5000th winner, IvaTolić.
He recalled how important the ERC grant was for him, thanks to which he could carry out cutting edge research studies (his was one of the 3 scientific breakthrough highlighted by ERC during the celebration). He could also obtain the tools to open the Laboratory of Bio-Inspired and Graphene Nanomechanics and finally became full Professor at the University of Trento, also employing numerous young researchers.
At the Solvay Library he focussed on his studies, the “bio-inspired hierarchical nanomaterials”, including for example the spider silk, the gecko, the lotus leave, graphene and the relevant industrial applications he is currently developing thanks to further ERC funds.
Professor Pugno was the only Italian ERC grant winner to hold a speech.
The Ceremony to celebrate the awarding of the 5000th ERC grant offered the opportunity to dialogue on the importance of the financing of excellence research, both for universities and for the society as a whole, and to submit some high-level projects thanks to the ERC financing.
Please read further information on the European Research Council (ERC) in the attachment.