UK and EU officials are urging British researchers to seize Horizon Europe funding at a joint event at the Royal Society.
European Commissioner for Research and Innovation Illiana Ivanova and UK Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan are convening with leaders from various sectors today to advocate for UK innovators and researchers to capitalise on the opportunities presented by Horizon Europe funding.
Horizon Europe stands as the world’s largest collaborative research programme, and the UK’s participation was secured through a bespoke deal last year. This arrangement enhances benefits for UK scientists and offers value for money for UK taxpayers.
At the event, Secretary Donelan and Commissioner Ivanova will emphasise the determination of both the UK and EU to ensure the success of the UK’s association with Horizon Europe.
The event targets groups previously less engaged in Horizon, such as SMEs, businesses, and scientists across Europe who could profit from collaboration with UK researchers.
Paving the way for UK innovation
Science, innovation, and technology are pivotal to the UK’s future, with the government prioritising economic growth and breakthroughs to enhance quality of life.
The UK’s strong academic standing, with four of the top ten universities globally and a substantial number of Nobel Prize winners, underscores its potential for leadership in these fields.
Seizing Horizon Europe funding
With Horizon Europe boasting a total worth of approximately £80bn and the average grant standing at £450,000 for a UK business or researcher, the programme offers a significant opportunity for R&D ventures.
It facilitates vital research across various domains, from health to the environment, while also fostering international collaboration, including with EU member states, New Zealand, Canada, and Israel.
Horizon Europe is structured around three main pillars:
- Pillar 1 (Excellent science)
- Pillar 2 (Global challenges and industrial competitiveness)
- Pillar 3 (Innovative Europe)
Pillar 2, with the largest budget, focuses on addressing societal issues like health and climate change, presenting significant opportunities for UK businesses and researchers.
Donelan commented: “The UK’s bespoke deal on Horizon has opened up a whole world of opportunity for our researchers, from the £80bn funding that’s available to the vast benefits that come from working hand-in-hand with colleagues from Europe to Canada to New Zealand.
“From grants to support UK applicants to our Horizon comms blitz, we are determined to do all we can together with our European colleagues to seize this moment and all it can do to help our brightest minds deliver jobs, growth, and breakthroughs that will make life better for us all.”
Aside from discussions at the Royal Society, further conversations will explore strategies for UK-EU cooperation to ensure the success of the association.
This includes enabling researchers to collaborate closely on emerging technologies, which hold the potential to revolutionise various aspects of daily life.
Commissioner Ivanova, accompanied by AI Minister Viscount Camrose, will tour London’s Crick Institute, a world-leading biomedical lab, showcasing the UK’s exemplary science pedigree.
Today’s UK-EU event marks the beginning of a series of initiatives throughout 2024 aimed at broadening the awareness of Horizon Europe funding among businesses and researchers across the UK.
A multi-channel communications campaign highlighting the tangible benefits of Horizon Europe to businesses and researchers is underway, with a focus on social media, podcasts, and digital displays.
Concrete support is being provided to encourage UK bids for Horizon funding, including ‘pump priming’ grants of up to £10,000, offered in partnership with the British Academy to support selected UK researchers and businesses in creating stronger applications.
Ivanova emphasised the significance of Horizon Europe funding for UK research and innovation: “My message to British researchers and innovative businesses is simple and clear: Apply!
“Thousands have succeeded before, joining forces with European partners, advancing science, boosting academic careers and business growth.
“I look forward to seeing many more UK beneficiaries in the Horizon Europe programme in the years to come.”
As the UK embarks on this collaborative journey with Horizon Europe, it positions itself at the forefront of global innovation, ready to tackle pressing challenges and unlock new possibilities for the benefit of society.