Kenedict Innovation Analytics

Introducing NetwERC: 10 Years of European Research Council Funding Visualized

The European Research Council celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, having funded about 7,000 research projects totalling about €12 billion in funding to just under 1,000 receiving institutions so far. What does all this activity look like from a visual perspective? The interactive application NetwERC allows you to visualize activity by country, receiving institution or project and build networks on the fly.

Text, analysis & visualization by André Vermeij, Kenedict Innovation Analytics

ERC and the Netherlands

Access the interactive visualizations here (best viewed on desktops/laptops): http://www.kenedict.com/NetwERC

Data on the European Research Council’s (ERC) funding is readily available as part of the CORDIS FP7 and Horizon 2020 datasets on the European Data Portal. For this analysis, we combined the data for FP7 and H2020 to be able to gain an overview of all funding since 2007. In some cases, the names of institutions in the datasets are written in multiple ways (e.g. ‘Max Planck Gesellschaft’ vs. ‘Max-Planck-Gesellschaft’) – the data was therefore cleaned to fix this.

The data was converted into networks showing the links between research projects (in orange) and their related institutions (in blue). The size of the nodes reflects their number of connections in the current visual; the size of the links reflects the total funding received.

Visualizing funding based on countries, receivers or projects

As an example, let’s take a look at the impact of ERC funding in the Netherlands. Simply pick ‘NL’ from the ‘Search countries’ search box and you’ll see a network of 35 institutions and a total of 648 projects emerging (as in the picture above). The box at the right shows us that altogether, Dutch institutions received just over €1 billion in funding. Clicking any node or link shows you more information: for instance, clicking a project node allows you to view a link to its project page on the EU’s CORDIS pages.

Alternatively, you can search for any receiving institution using the ‘Search receivers’ box and visualize its projects. For instance, the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) received about €525 million across 358 projects in ERC funding over the past 10 years. Clicking the Expand button at the top right allows you to visualize the other institutions related to these projects, allowing you to build networks incrementally:

ERC CNRS

Finally, you can also look for individual project titles using keywords and visualize their links to receiving institutions. Try searching for ‘quantum’ and you’ll see that there are 249 projects which list this keyword in their titles. Simply click ‘Add all 249 results’ at the top of the list to obtain the following visualization:

ERC Quantum Projects

When you want to empty the drawing area and start over, just click the reset button at the top right.

Questions or feedback are most welcome! Just drop me a line on Twitter (@Andre_Vermeij) or send an e-mail to andre.vermeij@kenedict.com.

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