UK Government Announces Transitional R&D Support and Plans for Horizon Europe Alternative

Publication of plans for the UK to transition to a new R&D programme if unable to associate to Horizon Europe, Copernicus and Euratom.

The UK government has published details of transitional measures to ‘ensure the stability and continuity of funding for researchers and businesses’ that will come into force if the UK is not able to associate to Horizon Europe – the EU’s research and innovation funding programme.

While it remains the UK’s position that association would benefit all parties, the aim of the proposed measures is to ensure there is no funding gap for the R&D sector, and provide immediate funding opportunities for researchers, institutions and businesses while longer term measures are established.

Announced measures include:

  • The Horizon Europe Guarantee scheme will include applicants where grant signature dates fall beyond the end of 2022. This would pick up where the current guarantee has left off, so there is no gap, and no eligible successful applications would go unfunded.
  • Funding for successful, in-flight UK-based applicants to Horizon Europe via assessing such applications domestically, to ensure the best get funded should the European Commission no longer carry out evaluations.
  • Uplifts to existing UK talent schemes covering a broad range of disciplines via National Academies and UKRI.
  • A Talent and Research Stabilisation Fund for UK institutions most affected by the loss of Horizon Europe talent funding. The fund will enable eligible research organisations and universities to support talent retention and target funding vulnerabilities at a local level.
  • Funding for all eligible UK entities participating in consortia as Third Country participants and signing grant agreements before 31 March 2025.

Available on the BEIS website, the policy paper also sets out a preliminary vision for a long term, alternative programme to Horizon Europe should it be required, which will focus on four main themes to complement existing R&D investments: Talent, End to End Innovation, Global Collaboration and investments in the R&D system.

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