This project refers to the research topic "Emerging research areas" within the CSAs of the ERC work programme. Its main objectives are to identify topically emerging re-search areas within all science areas and to analyse to what extent ERC-supported activities cover and contribute to these research areas. Thus we will investigate whether the basic mission of the ERC, namely "..to stimulate scientific excellence by supporting and encouraging the very best, truly creative scientists, scholars and engi-neers to be adventurous and take risks in their research" is reached in a satisfying way. Thereby the project also contributes to the question, whether the bottom-up approach of ERC funding meets the expectation of being able to support new lines of research with impact on the development of dynamic creative and innovative areas of research in Europe. The concept of our project combines two approaches. The first one concerns the identification of topically emerging research areas assuming that excellent, truly creative research can be found in particular in these emerging areas. Growth analyses will be combined with advanced bibliometric analyses (bibliometric coupling, cross-citation and text mining) and validated via expert assessments. The second approach comprises a mapping of ERC-funded research to emerging fields and an assessment of the ex-pected impact of ERC-funded research in terms of contributions to creative and innova-tive research areas in Europe. In addition ERC-funded research activities referring to distinct areas not covered by the landscape of emerging fields will be identified and assessed. Conclusions on the impact of ERC funding on stimulating research in emerging areas will be drawn and recommendations for optimizing ERC procedures will be developed. The methodological approaches will be compiled to a toolbox for analysing the signifi-cance of ERC-funded research in relation to the worldwide landscape of emerging research areas.
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