UK Government Announces Guaranteed Funding for UK Horizon Europe Applicants

Financial safety net confirmed for first wave of Horizon Europe applicants.

The UK Government has announced that successful applicants for Horizon Europe funding will be guaranteed funding regardless of the outcome of the UK’s efforts to associate to Europe’s flagship research and innovation programme.

The government’s priority remains association to Horizon Europe, as well as Euratom Research and Technology and Copernicus. However in order to provide reassurance to the research sector and their European partners during the current delays, funding will be guaranteed for the first wave of eligible, successful applicants to Horizon Europe who are unable to sign grant agreements with the EU.

This is intended to be a short-term measure covering the first wave of Horizon Europe calls until the UK’s association is formalised, as agreed under the 2020 EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Funding will be delivered through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which will publish further details about eligibility, scope and how to apply in the coming weeks.

In an open letter published on 30 November, Science, Research and Innovation Minister George Freeman reiterated the UK’s commitment to association, but also sets out priorities for supporting the sector in all scenarios, including strengthening relationships with other partners such as North America and the Indo-Pacific and developing a ‘strong and attractive offer’ to encourage talented individuals to build their careers in the UK.

UKRI International Champion Professor Christopher Smith responded to the announcement, saying:

‘We welcome the government’s decision to provide funding to those who have successfully applied to Horizon Europe and will be finalising the processes needed to distribute the funds in the coming weeks.

‘We are also working with the government to prepare for all possible outcomes to ensure the UK’s thriving research and innovation sector has the support it needs to continue collaborating and delivering world-class R&D.

‘In the meantime we encourage researchers and innovators across the UK to continue to apply to open Horizon Europe calls.’

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)