The HM Treasury will underwrite funding for approved Horizon 2020 projects applied for before the UK leaves the European Union in a commitment aimed at providing reassurance to applicants from the UK’s research and innovation base when applying for EU research funding.
British businesses and universities will have certainty over future funding and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU, UK government informed.
The Treasury will underwrite the payment of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.
The announcement follows government’s commitment in last year’s Spending Review to protect UK science spending in real terms, providing £26.3 billion from April 2016 to April 2021.
Greg Clark, Business and Energy Secretary, said: “By underwriting the significant Horizon 2020 grants we are showing the extent of our commitment, standing squarely behind our researchers and scientists as they continue working with their European partners to develop new technologies, discover life-saving medicines and pioneer every day innovations that will benefit all hard-working Britons.”
Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, the country’s innovation agency, has welcomed the announcement of guarantees on EU funding, stating: “Innovate UK will continue to ensure the success of UK participants in Horizon 2020, and ensure the benefits of EU structural funds for innovation support are felt right across the UK. The announcement of funding guarantees will offer vital reassurance to the sector, so that they can concentrate on getting their innovative ideas off the drawing board and into the market.”
Horizon 2020 is the European Union’s flagship research and innovation programme aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness with a budget of almost €80 billion between 2014 and 2020.