Future of EU research

24 November 2017

A delegation of senior leaders from Russell Group universities will today tell UK officials in Brussels they should take the opportunity to help shape the future of European science and research ahead of talks on the next EU Framework Programme (FP9).

EU science ministers are due to discuss the next Framework Programme at their meeting in December. FP9 will replace the flagship Horizon 2020 Programme, which has already helped Russell Group universities make more than 9,300 high value collaborations with partners across the EU and beyond.

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The Russell Group delegation will meet with leading figures from the UK representation to the EU, and EU Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas during their visit to Brussels on Friday (24 November).

Commenting, President and Provost of UCL Professor Michael Arthur said:

“Horizon 2020 and other EU programmes have been of huge value to UK and European science. We want to build on the relationships that have been established over the last 40 years to ensure excellent research and innovation continues to be at the heart of our economy and society. Full UK participation in the remainder of Horizon 2020 and future Framework Programmes would be hugely positive in this regard.  We hope these issues will be at the top of the list for agreement as we look ahead to the next phase of Brexit talks.

“The best science and research increasingly depends on international cooperation and collaboration and this must continue after Brexit. Maximizing the impact of the Framework Programme is in everyone’s best interests and it is important we take the opportunity now to help shape the direction of FP9 .

 “Allocating funding on the basis of excellence will help drive up the quality of the science base across Europe and ensure it remains internationally competitive. Increasing the overall budget and ensuring there is a sustainable balance between fundamental, curiosity-driven research and closer-to-market activities is also vital.

“UK officials in Brussels might be snowed under in Brexit talks but we are still an EU member state and work in other areas needs to continue. It is important UK voices are speaking up for science. We have a window of opportunity to help deliver a world-beating package of support for research and innovation through FP9. We need to take it.”

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