‘Colossal relief’ as UK rejoins EU science research scheme Horizon

Article by Kerry Hebden

Researchers in the UK encouraged to place bids to draw from €95.5bn funding pot

AFTER years of negotiations and uncertainty, the UK research community now have cause to rejoice following news that the UK is to rejoin the EU’s flagship scientific research scheme, Horizon.

The European Commission and the UK government said it is “a landmark moment for scientific and space collaboration between the EU and the UK”.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak said that innovation has long been the foundation for prosperity in the UK, and that this is the right deal for the country as it unlocks “unparalleled research opportunities”.

The new deal means UK researchers will be able to fully participate in the Horizon Europe programme on the same terms as researchers from other associated countries, including leading consortia, from the 2024 Work Programmes and onwards. For calls from the 2023 Work Programmes, the European Commission will continue to administer transitional arrangements, and the UK will continue to provide funding under the UK Guarantee.

Scientists and engineers working in the UK are encouraged to apply now for grants and projects from the €95.5bn (US$101bn) fund, said the government, adding that they can do so “with certainty that the UK will be participating as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the programme to 2027”.

However, the UK will not be rejoining the EU’s nuclear research alliance – the Euratom programme – and instead will pursue a domestic fusion energy strategy that involves close international collaboration, including with European partners. This will be backed by up to £650m to 2027, and “will ensure UK taxpayer funding is spent in the UK’s best interests”, ministers said.

This article is adapted from an earlier online version.

Article by Kerry Hebden

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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