Since the decision to leave the EU was made, researchers from the UK had many unanswered questions concerning the future of EC funded projects, especially concerning Horizon 2020. The Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson have now sought to calm some of the fears in the research community.
Horizon 2020 funding pre-exit
Jo Johnson has stated that “the government has committed to underwrite the funding for all successful bids made by UK participants for Horizon 2020 projects that are submitted before EU exit.” This also covers projects that are ongoing at the point of the exit and funding applied for before the exit. The same counts for two-staged proposals: If the first part is submitted before the exit and the project gets funded, the UK government will underwrite any funding.
The message is clear: The UK does not want researchers to cease any activity. Research still has a vital role to play and will not be neglected before the EU exit. We have had positive experiences with UK based partners in recently approved projects, such as LightDyNAmics and EuroNeurotrophin, and hope to continue the relationship further into the future.
The UK and Horizon 2020
The UK is one of the biggest players in Horizon 2020. The latest numbers (31st May 2017) show that over €3,600 million have gone to UK based participants (second only to Germany) and over 7300 participants have been involved in Horizon 2020 projects (most participants of any country). Five UK universities are in the top 10 in terms of money won from Horizon 2020 (University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London, Imperial College and University of Edinburgh). The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge have alone been participants in over 300 projects each. Especially the higher and secondary education establishments have been able to benefit from Horizon 2020 funding: A total of 4262 participations mean the UK’s share of the total participations is 22.4%.