£85bn EU Horizon programme reopens to UK companies - Business Leader News

£85bn EU Horizon programme reopens to UK companies

The UK government has announced a “new bespoke agreement” to rejoin Horizon Europe, the £85bn EU science research programme.

Rejoining Europe’s flagship science programme follows two years of absence post-Brexit. The UK was removed after previously failing to negotiate a deal to remain in the programme.

Number 10 has said rejoining Horizon will happen “through a bespoke new agreement with the EU” with the UK set to be a fully associated member until 2027.

Horizon is a collaboration involving Europe’s leading research institutes and technology companies which sees EU member states contribute funds that are then allocated to individuals or organisations on merit.

In addition to EU member states, Norway, New Zealand and Israel are part of the programme, opening up these countries for potential collaboration with UK companies.

UK researchers can apply for grants and bid to take part in projects from today (7th of September).

Industry Reaction

Max Bautin, Managing Partner, IQ Capital, said: “This is excellent news for academic researchers in the UK and also in the EU, both in terms of funding and the opportunity to collaborate, which in turn will step up innovation between the UK and the EU.

“It is also excellent news for the UK’s deeptech community, much of which is sourced on research coming out of universities, and equally importantly talented researchers and founders, which will continue to be attracted to the UK as the leading deeptech ecosystem in the EU.”

Raj Kandola, Director of External Affairs at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “The confirmation of this agreement will be welcomed by the scientific community and beyond given the long-term value it will bring to the UK economy.

“Rejoining the Horizon Programme will cultivate greater collaboration between research, science and higher education institutions both home and abroad.

“All of which will help to drive new investment opportunities and drive innovation – all much-needed developments given the uncertain economic period we currently find ourselves operating in.”

    Ekaterina Almasque, General Partner at OpenOcean said: “The announcement of the UK’s re-entry into the Horizon programme is excellent news for the UK and wider European tech ecosystem. Research and Development (R&D) serve as the backbone of the UK tech economy, and prolonged uncertainty would have eroded confidence. In fields like quantum technology, where progress unfolds over decades, having a clear trajectory of funding is paramount to ensure innovation continues unhindered.

    “Horizon, with its focus on encouraging collaboration between emerging tech startups and industry experts, is a lifeline for many, particularly university spin-outs. It provides the most effective avenue for them access industry resources and establish themselves.

    “This renewed commitment to Horizon is not only a positive for the spinout ecosystem but also bolsters the entire tech sector, making it more attractive to investors to back the next market leader. It’s a significant step forward for both British and European tech, reaffirming the importance of cooperation and support in driving progress and prosperity in the digital age.”

    Stuart Grant, CEO of ARC (Advanced Research Clusters) says: “It’s a cause for celebration among the science and tech community as the UK announces it’s rejoined the Horizon Europe research programme. This programme is invaluable for British science and all the researchers working on ground-breaking projects that will influence the course of scientific history.

    “Greater access to funding will spur on vital innovation across the science and technology sector and boost collaboration among our European peers. Major breakthroughs aren’t made in siloes, but through working in collaboration with one another for the good of everyone.”