What does re-joining the EU’s Horizon scheme mean for R&D in the UK?

What does re-joining the EU’s Horizon scheme mean for R&D in the UK?

After a three year break, scientists are once again able to apply for funding from the world’s largest innovation programme.
The UK has rejoined the flagship Horizon Europe research programme - after being blocked post-Brexit - to the widespread relief of the scientific community. But what is Horizon Europe and what does it mean for UK science?


What is Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe is the world’s largest transnational research and innovation programme. It is open to EU member states and associate countries and its funding supports international collaborations across a variety of research fields, from cancer and infectious diseases to the climate crisis, food security, artificial intelligence and robotics.

What are the key benefits?

UK researchers will now be able to access grants from Horizon Europe. Funding runs on a seven-year cycle, providing scientists with long-term financial support.

Being a member again will help with recruitment, too. While the UK was locked out of Horizon Europe, it could recruit EU scientists to work out of British universities. Britain can now welcome academics from across Europe who can provide vital expertise to accelerate their projects.

Can the UK catch up from its hiatus?

UK researchers benefitted enormously from pre-Brexit Horizon funding, often being granted more awards than Germany. After being locked out of Horizon, the UK’s status as a leading research hotspot plummeted dramatically.

It is widely hoped that with the UK can claw back its previous leading position in the programme within one to three years.