UK joins Horizon Europe under a new bespoke deal
UK to associate to Horizon Europe and Copernicus programmes through a bespoke new agreement with the EU.
Prime Minister secured improved financial terms of association that are right for the UK and protect the taxpayer.
British scientists encouraged to apply now for grants and projects with certainty.
UK confirms it will take forward its own fusion energy strategy instead of associating with the Euratom programme.
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 today (Thursday 7 September), 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 unrivalled 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.
This follows a call between the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen on Wednesday (6 September). 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.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Innovation has long been the foundation for prosperity in the UK, from the breakthroughs improving healthcare to the technological advances growing our economy.”
“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.”
New financial protections for the British taxpayer, especially in the first years of association when UK scientists’ participation will be recovering, ensures:
- UK taxpayers will not pay for the time where UK researchers have been excluded from since 2021, with costs starting from January 2024 – delivering much better terms for 2023. This will also provide breathing space to boost the participation of UK researchers in open calls for grants before we start paying into the programme.
- The UK will have a new automatic clawback that protects the UK as participation recovers from the effects of the last two and a half years. It means the UK will be compensated should UK scientists receive significantly less money than the UK puts into the programme. This wasn’t the case under the original terms of association.
Find more information here: UK joins Horizon Europe under a new bespoke deal – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)