Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik has announced the names of those people from the research community who will be tasked with identifying potential members of the governing body of the proposed European Research Council (ERC). The Identification Committee will be chaired by Chris Patten, former EU Commissioner and current Chancellor of Oxford University in the UK. He will be joined by: Nobel prizewinner Professor Erwin Neher; Dr Catherine Bréchignac from the University of Paris South; Professor Jüri Engelbrecht, President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences; and Professor Guido Martinetti from the University of Milan-Biocca. The group met for the first time on 25 January. The appointment of the ERC's governing body by the committee means that the ERC will remain scientifically independent.