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New Agreement Paves The Way for UK to Join Horizon Europe

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Insider Brief

  • UK scientists will now have access to Horizon Europe, the world’s largest research collaboration programme.
  • Once adopted, UK will also be able to join the governance of EU programmes, which the UK has been excluded from over the last three years.
  • Horizon will give UK companies and research institutions opportunities to help develop new technologies and research projects.

PRESS RELEASE — UK scientists will have access to the world’s largest research collaboration programme, Horizon Europe, as the Prime Minister secures a bespoke deal with improved financial terms for the UK’s participation.

From Sept. 7, UK researchers can apply for grants and bid to take part in projects under the Horizon programme, with certainty that the UK will be participating as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the programme to 2027.

Once adopted, the UK will also be able to join the governance of EU programmes – which the UK has been excluded from over the last three years – ensuring we can shape collaboration taking place next year. And UK researchers will be able to lead consortia in the next work programme of Horizon Europe projects.

Horizon will give UK companies and research institutions unrivaled opportunities to lead global work to develop new technologies and research projects, in areas from health to AI. This will not only open up cooperation with the EU, but also Norway, New Zealand and Israel which are part of the programme – and countries like Korea and Canada which are looking to join too.

“Innovation has long been the foundation for prosperity in the UK, from the breakthroughs improving healthcare to the technological advances growing our economy,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said. “With a wealth of expertise and experience to bring to the global stage, we have delivered a deal that enables UK scientists to confidently take part in the world’s largest research collaboration programme – Horizon Europe. We have worked with our EU partners to make sure that this is right deal for the UK, unlocking unparalleled research opportunities, and also the right deal for British taxpayers.”

This follows a call between the UK Prime Minister and EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen on Sept.6. They are encouraging UK scientists to apply with confidence from today and they agreed that the UK and EU will work together to boost participation.

As part of the new deal negotiated over the last six months, the Prime Minister has secured improved financial terms of association to Horizon Europe that are right for the UK – increasing the benefits to UK scientists, value for money for the UK taxpayer, and mitigating the impact that the EU’s delays to our association will have on participation rates of researchers.

The UK will also associate to Copernicus, the European Earth Observation programme. This will provide the UK’s earth observation sector with access to unique data – valuable to helping with early flood and fire warnings, for example – and with the ability to bid for contracts, which they haven’t been able to access for three years.

In line with the preferences of the UK fusion sector, the UK has decided to pursue a domestic fusion energy strategy instead of associating to the EU’s Euratom programme. This will involve close international collaboration, including with European partners, and a new, cutting-edge alternative programme, backed by up to £650m to 2027. It will ensure UK taxpayer funding is spent in the UK’s best interests.

Together, this deal is set to create and support thousands of new jobs as part of the next generation of research talent. It will help deliver the Prime Minister’s ambition to grow the economy and cement the UK as a science and technology superpower by 2030.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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