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Why the UK must associate to Horizon Europe

11 December 2019

The European Union is in the process of developing its ninth multiannual Framework Programme for research and innovation Horizon Europe.

The Royal Society believes it is in the UK’s best interests to seek full association to the programme after leaving the EU and has published a statement on the benefits to the UK public and scientific community.

The EU Framework Programmes offer an established, well-respected and unique multilateral platform that permits collaborations across multiple countries. They present a number of advantages to member states and associated countries that could not be replicated through individual bilateral agreements and have had demonstrable impact in growing UK collaborations with European partners. There are no comparable alternatives.

Association to Horizon Europe is fundamental to maintaining the UK’s access to European networks that foster new frontiers of knowledge and innovation. It will ensure that we continue to attract the best scientific talent through ‘excellence-based’ schemes which are closed to non-associated countries and provide stability at a time of significant change in the UK’s international relationships. It will also give us a strong platform for seeking further collaborations across the world.

*UK-EU collaboration and COVID-19*

UK based researchers are highly involved in COVID-19 related research funded by the European Research Council. Of 39 live projects in this area, 20% are led by UK academics. Examples of Horizon 2020 funded collaborative research on the pandemic involving EU and UK partners include the I-MOVE-COVID-19 project aimed at obtaining epidemiological, clinical and virological information about COVID-19 and the PREPARE initiative providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of clinical research networks. Information on the Royal Society's response to COVID-19 is also available.

Read five reasons to keep UK science in European programmes and the Royal Society’s response to the Sir Adrian Smith review of future frameworks for international collaboration on research and innovation.

Find out more about the Royal Society's work on Brexit and UK science.

This page was last updated on 2 June 2020

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