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Working Group 3


Research at the margin of traditional disciplines has clearly proven to be ground-breaking but it is not reflected in the traditional research and funding landscape. The value of the co-existence of horizontal (multi, inter- and transdisciplinary research) and vertical (disciplinary) innovation activities has been recognized and discussed [Cozzi & Spinezi, Research in Economics, DOI:10.1016/j.rie.2005.12.001]. How can we maximize the synergy between horizontal and vertical knowledge for creating new science frontiers and economic benefits in the long run? Funding programs rely on peer evaluation of experts, but finding experts of the right background in an ever increasing complexity of research fields is a challenge particularly on the national scale. As a consequence, the brightest ideas might be dismissed for the sake of more conventional ones which might not warrant a major breakthrough but solid research conforming with current science indicators.


Whilst the starting grant program of the ERC is the tool to fund the brightest, yet ambitious and daring scientific ideas, it cannot remain the sole pillar with which to sustain the challenge of the next-generation research methodologies. As pinpointed in the description of WG2, long-term measures need to be adopted to provide opportunities, with regard to both funding and career perspectives, for excellent next-generation researchers to materialize their ideas and vision.

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