What's next for R&D if the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe?

Posted on: 21/07/2022
Earth, seen from space, looking at Europe


Horizon Europe is the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It has a budget of €95.5 billion and will run until 2027. The UK withdrew from the EU on 31 January 2020; however, the EU is still in the process of formalising the UK’s association to Horizon Europe, and therefore it is very important that businesses continue to apply for funding, continue to seek collaborations overseas, and continue to be reassured that the UK does still want to associate and is doing all it can to do so.

With that in mind, businesses do not need to wait for news of association, as the “UK government has confirmed successful Horizon Europe applicants will receive funding from UKRI regardless of the outcome of the UK’s efforts to associate with Horizon Europe. This guarantee covers all eligible, current applications to calls where researchers expect to sign grant agreements this year. This measure protects UK researchers whether we associate to Horizon Europe or not.”

Official government announcement - 20 July 2022

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has issued an official announcement (20 July 2022) on the government’s commitment to continue research collaboration with European partners, whilst also being realistic about the current situation regarding UK’s association to Horizon Europe, and has therefore published plans to develop a long-term Horizon alternative. He stated:

“The Government’s position remains to associate to all 4 EU programmes. Given the ongoing delays, however, whatever happens we need to ensure that we are making the most of the UK’s science and innovation strengths, and so we need to prepare for an alternative future. In developing these programmes, we will need the support of the whole UK R&D community. This is a vital moment for UK research in which I and the Government are determined we will strengthen, deepen, and widen our commitment to international research.”

Read full announcement here.

Further Information

Jane Watkins, Regional Lead for Europe, Innovate UK KTN mentioned:

“The government will introduce a programme of international science, research and innovation collaborations, including immediate measures and information on proposals for transitional measures and long-term alternatives if the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe. There will be increased funding for a range of innovation schemes targeted at small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), as well as the option for the UK to participate in Horizon Europe as a third country.”

If you have any queries around the guarantee, please direct them to: eugrantsfunding@ukri.org.

For queries on any other aspect of transition measures or long term programmes, please contact: HorizonEuropeAlternatives@ukri.org.

For general support and queries, you can also contact the UK National Contact Points (NCP) or our Innovate UK KTN European team here.

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