Yanne Chembo Kouomou
The ERC is a unique mechanism, a phenomenal accelerator. This EU program has enabled us to perform basic and exploratory research. You have to be ready to take risks and deal with unforeseen situations. In fact, I went further than I thought I would—I discovered I could push my limits. When dealing with breakthrough research subjects, like compact photonic oscillators, you have to challenge yourself. We are looking for a way to manipulate laser radiation to create new-generation ultra-stable clocks for the aerospace and telecommunications industries.
Another key point is that while the ERC funds an individual, it is actually a collective effort. We are a close-knit team pursuing a common goal, which is not always the case in a conventional research group. This also involves a tremendous responsibility towards the PhD students and postdoctoral fellows who work with us. I’ve learned a lot from them. I would never have done that on my own!