Leading research organisations re-iterate importance of UK association to Horizon Europe

22 December 2021

The Russell Group and other leading research organisations in the UK have re-iterated the importance of reaching an agreement with the EU to formalise the UK's association with Horizon Europe and other major research programmes, delivering a crucial outcome for science and innovation.

The UK’s association to the programme has not yet been formalised, as it is currently entangled with the outcome of the ongoing UK-EU political discussions. This means that UK-based researchers and innovators are currently unable to sign Horizon grant agreements. The Government has helpfully announced funding guarantees to manage this uncertainty while negotiations continue.

Finalising the UK’s association would end this uncertainty, enabling researchers across Europe to collaborate with ease and maximising the ability of UK universities and businesses to lead projects, generate high-impact outputs and realise a range of economic, health, environmental and social benefits for the UK and its citizens.

This message was echoed by Europe's research and innovation community, which called for swift UK association in a letter to the European Commission last month. We hope to see an end to the delay and association confirmed as soon as possible so both sides can unlock the benefits of the UK becoming a full associate member of Horizon Europe.

Commenting, Dr Tim Bradshaw, CEO of the Russell Group, said:

“Securing agreement for the UK to join Horizon Europe as part of the Brexit deal was a huge win for the sector and underlined the Government’s ambitions to make Britain a science superpower.

“Almost a year on that association has not been finalised, putting at risk all of the benefits being part of a major international collaboration brings for all of those involved.

“We have welcomed the Government’s determination to secure Horizon association and the funding guarantees it put in place to provide stability for researchers while negotiations continue. However now is the time for all parties to set aside wider disagreements and secure the UK’s association, which would be a win-win for the UK and our collaborators across Europe.”

Policy area

Related case studies

Media Enquiries
Policy Enquiries

Follow us on Twitter