As of October 2020, one of the greatest achievements of Koç University in terms of sponsored R&D projects is in the area of European Research Council (ERC) grants. In addition to Kerem Pekkan’s (Starting Grant), Özgür Barış Akan’s (Consolidator Grant, transferred to the UK in 2017) and Hakan Urey’s (Advanced Grant) projects from the College of Engineering, Koç University’s success in this program increased throughout Horizon 2020.
In 2014, Cory Dunn from Molecular Biology and Genetics was awarded a Starting Grant (transferred to Finland in 2017). Furthermore, in February 2015, Sedat Nizamoglu (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) decided to transfer his Starting Grant received at Ozyegin University, to Koç University. By 2020, nine more ERC grants were hosted by Koç University: Again from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Elif Nur Firat Karalar received a Starting Grant. Erdem Kabadayi (Department of History) transferred his ERC Starting Grant to Koç University; Alp Atakan (Department of Economics) was awarded a Consolidator Grant; Erdem Yörük (Sociology) and Seda Keskin (Chemical and Biological Engineering) were awarded Starting Grants. In 2020, Koç University achieved its greatest success in this program, and three new Starting Grants were awarded to university researchers Mehmet Cengiz Onbaşlı (Electrical and Electronic Engineering), Didem Unat (Computer Engineering) and Özen Nergis Dolcerocca (Comparative Literature) under the 2020 call.
Consequently, as of October 2020, with transfers in and out, Koç University is the most successful higher education institution in Türkiye in bids for ERC grants, coordinating 16 of the 28 awarded projects in Türkiye since 2012. In addition, under Horizon 2020, Hakan Ürey’s ongoing ERC project has received three “ERC Proof of Concept” grants for the commercialization of technology outputs, and Kerem Pekkan’s ongoing ERC project has received one such grant.
KU is also currently the most successful institution (including industry organizations) in Türkiye after TÜBİTAK under Horizon 2020. The university has participated in 43 Horizon 2020 projects with a budget contribution of 19 million Euros.
In 2020, 89 new projects were supported externally. These projects had a value of approximately 182 million TL. At the end of 2020, the total number of ongoing projects is 225, with a present value of 440 million TL.
The graph below shows the number of research projects granted by funding institutions between January 2004 – October 2020.