Russell Group responds to proposals for Pioneer programme

06 April 2023

On Thursday (6 April), the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology published its prospectus for Pioneer - the alternative package of proposals to support the UK's research and innovation sector if UK association to the EU's Horizon Europe programme is not finalised.

Responding to the publication of the prospectus, Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

“The start of serious negotiations in Brussels this week over the UK’s participation in EU programmes is a significant step forward. It is right that discussions take place over fair and appropriate terms, and we hope an agreement can be reached swiftly to finally get association over the line.  

“The ambition of the proposals for Pioneer is welcome. If needed, it is vital that this package focuses on attracting and retaining talent and supporting global collaboration on discovery research through to innovation, all backed by funding commitments and with the necessary transition measures in place.  

“We welcome the opportunity to work with Government on the development of Pioneer and will scrutinise the proposals carefully. However, we have always been clear that it will be a challenge to replicate the full benefits of the world’s largest collaborative research programme, with ready-made routes for talent flow, facilities access and collaboration with multiple countries.  

“This should not be viewed as an either-or scenario. Strengthening our links with Europe and beyond through Horizon can sit alongside a roll-out of elements of the Government’s alternative plans, giving the UK the best opportunity to cement our status as a science superpower.” 


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