Bridging the Gap: UK and EU Forge Paths for Research Collaboration

Science and Technology Secretary Seeks Common Ground on Horizon Europe and Beyond

Key Takeaways

  • Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan meets with EU Research & Innovation Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.
  • Discussions center around research collaboration and the UK’s association with Horizon Europe.
  • UK government develops alternative plans if association terms are unfavorable.
  • UK committed to increasing public R&D investment to £20 billion by 2024-2025.

Building a Strong Foundation for International Collaboration

Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan recently met with European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel in Brussels to discuss research collaboration and the UK’s expectations surrounding association with Horizon Europe. This meeting signifies an important step forward in reestablishing strong ties between the UK and EU in the realm of research and innovation.

Navigating the Road to Horizon Europe

The UK has expressed appreciation for the EU’s recent willingness to engage in discussions on UK association with EU programs, such as Horizon Europe. However, due to the lasting impact of delays, the discussions will need to account for the current state of affairs.

As a parallel strategy, the UK government has been developing alternative plans should the terms of association with Horizon Europe prove unfavorable. These plans will be published soon and will involve input from researchers and businesses to further develop the proposals.

Investing in the Future of UK Research

The UK government remains dedicated to supporting the science and research sector, committing to increase public R&D investment to £20 billion by 2024-2025, a record increase of 30% in cash terms over the spending review period. This investment aims to provide a solid foundation for world-class scientists to continue their groundbreaking work, both domestically and internationally.

A Constructive and Respectful Approach

Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan is determined to ensure a productive meeting with the EU, focusing on the possible future association with Horizon Europe. The goal is to find common ground that benefits both parties, while maintaining a constructive and respectful approach in the negotiations.

To support researchers during this period of uncertainty, the UK government has extended support provided to UK Horizon Europe applicants until the end of June. This extension amounts to over £882 million and ensures that eligible, successful applicants will receive the full value of their funding at their UK host institution for the lifetime of their grant.

Moving Forward Together

The meeting between Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel is a vital step in fostering strong research collaboration between the UK and EU. As discussions continue, the hope is to find a path forward that allows for fruitful collaboration and innovation, benefiting researchers, businesses, and society at large.

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