Today (Wednesday 20 July) the government has set out a new package of transitional measures to ensure the stability and continuity of funding for researchers and businesses, which will come into force if the UK is not able to associate to Horizon Europe – the EU’s research and innovation funding programme.
The UK government agreed in December 2020 to associate to Horizon, Copernicus, Euratom Research & Training, and Fusion for Energy as part of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement, and it remains the UK’s position that association would benefit all parties, enabling countries across Europe to work together on shared challenges.
However, in light of the EU’s continued delays, the UK has made clear that should association not be completed, our priority is to protect and support the research and innovation (R&I) sector, with the funding allocated for association being re-directed to new R&D programmes, including those designed to support international partnerships.
Transitional measures will ensure there is no funding gap for the R&D sector, and will provide immediate funding opportunities for researchers, institutions and businesses while longer term measures are established.
The transitional measures set out today include:
- the UK Guarantee scheme already in operation
- funding for successful, in-flight UK-based applicants to Horizon
- uplifts to existing UK talent schemes
- uplifts to innovation funding and support for businesses, in particular SMEs
- uplifts to international innovation schemes to support international business collaborations
- funding for research institutions most affected by the loss of Horizon Europe’s talent funding
- continued Third Country Participation in Horizon Europe
The measures will be delivered by trusted and experienced UK bodies, using existing and well-established UK funding and support mechanisms, and will be ready to launch if the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe.
Today’s publication also sets out a preliminary vision for a long term, alternative programme to Horizon should it be required, which will focus on four main themes to complement our existing R&D investments: Talent, End to End Innovation, Global Collaboration and investments in the R&D system.
The long-term programme will be established as quickly as possible, and the government is already in conversation with researchers and businesses to determine priorities for a programme that would help build on UK strengths and develop new capabilities, while distributing resource and support for the sector right across the country, in line with the Levelling Up agenda. Our detailed proposals will be published in due course.
The government is also developing a comprehensive plan of alternatives to Euratom R&T, Fusion for Energy, and Copernicus programmes, including interim measures.
Read the full details of the transitional measures.