Marta Olazabal granted with a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant

“Marta Olazabal granted with a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant”

BC3 researcher Marta Olazabal has been granted with a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant to implement her project IMAGINE Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas. The main goal of ‘IMAGINE adaptation’ is to advance pioneering science for the evaluation of urban adaptation and its governance across scales. To this end, IMAGINE adaptation will conceive theories and apply creative methods to reimagine the concept of successful adaptation in urban areas so that it becomes part of the larger paradigm shift that is required to enable transformative urban adaptation processes. ERC Starting grants are worth on average €1.5 million and are expected to support ambitious younger researchers launch their own projects, form their teams and pursue their best ideas. Only 9.8% of 4066 proposals have been funded across Europe. Marta Olazabal’s project is one of the 23 proposals funded in Spain and the only one in the SH7 panel “Human Mobility, Environment, and Space”, a new evaluation panel inaugurated in this call.

“Having the opportunity to develop this ambitious and ground-breaking project in five years time and with such a budget is a dream come true for any scientist” says Olazabal. “The evaluation of the progress of adaptation to climate change is an international challenge, we need to conceive ways that enable its measurement to see how well we are doing our job to protect our livelihoods”. To this end, “IMAGINE Adaptation will advance the understanding of how adaptation performs in urban areas in order to identify what needs to be measure and what is in fact measurable”. Olazabal admits that measuring adaptation is not an easy task, at least not as easy as measuring mitigation efforts. She expects that the outputs of this project will become a reference for climate change adaptation science and decision makers across governance scales.

European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants is the first call for proposals under the EU’s new R&I programme, Horizon Europe, €619 million will be invested in excellent projects dreamed up by scientists and scholars. This grant has been given to 397 early – career researchers to help them launch their own projects, form their teams and pursue their best ideas.


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About the ERC

The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept Grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between their pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation. The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. Since 1 November 2021, Maria Leptin is the President of the ERC. The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe programme, under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.

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List of all selected researchers.


About Dr. Marta Olazabal

Marta Olazabal is a Research Fellow at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) and Head of the Adaptation Research Group. She has a background in Environmental Engineering (Bsc 2004, MSc 2009, School of Engineering of Bilbao) and a PhD on Land Economy (University of Cambridge, 2015). Her research focuses on urban sustainability and climate change governance, in knowledge production and systems thinking and in approaches that bridge science and policy. In 2011, she co-founded the Urban Resilience Research Network (URNet) which now groups more than 300 members. She has been contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR6 WGII. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of IPAM, the International Platform of Adaptation metrics and recently, and Editor of Plos Climate.

About BC3

The Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) is an international, interdisciplinary research centre for the study of climate change and has its headquarters in Bilbao. The centre’s partners include Ikerbasque, the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and Ihobe, the Basque Government’s Public Environmental Management Partnership; the centre is one of the BERCs (Basque Excellence Research Centres).

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María de Maeztu Excellence Unit 2023-2027 Ref. CEX2021-001201-M, funded by MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033

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