Dr Neil Hudson MP, a veterinarian and scientist, welcomed the Government securing access to Horizon Europe and Copernicus, further cementing the UK’s role as a world-leading scientific research hub.
The Prime Minister secured improved financial terms of association to protect British taxpayers, allowing international collaboration for UK scientists and research institutions. The EU originally froze membership for the UK during post-Brexit Northern Ireland negotiations; but with Rishi Sunak’s historic Windsor Framework Agreement, friction has subsided, and talks resumed.
Horizon Europe is a €95.5 billion research and innovation programme bringing continental leaders together to tackle international challenges such as cancer rates, climate change and the loss of nature.
From today (7th September), UK researchers can apply for grants and bid to take part in projects under the Horizon programme, with certainty that the UK will be participating as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the programme to 2027.
With a background in clinical science and academia, Dr Hudson has passionately campaigned for increased international cooperation, most recently quizzing Science Ministers in the Chamber. You can view his intervention here.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said:
“In science and medicine, collaboration is key, and this agreement once more puts our world leading UK research sector at the heart of global innovation.”
“We are blessed with an abundance of brilliant scientific minds in this country, backed up by world-leading universities and research institutions. Today’s deal is proof that the world is crying out to collaborate with our scientific community and deliver on some of the greatest challenges of our time.
“Unrivalled in scope, the Horizon is a bastion of international collaboration that will directly support the British public through its acceleration of research into everything from cancer to space travel – creating local jobs and boosting productivity along the way."
Once adopted, the UK will also be able to join the governance of EU programmes ensuring we can shape collaboration taking place next year. And UK researchers will be able to lead consortia in the next work programme of Horizon Europe projects.
Horizon will give UK companies and research institutions unrivalled opportunities to lead global work to develop new technologies and research projects, in areas from health to AI. This will not only open up cooperation with the EU, but also Norway, New Zealand and Israel which are part of the programme – and countries like Korea and Canada which are looking to join too.
The UK will also associate to Copernicus, the European Earth Observation programme. This will provide the UK’s earth observation sector with access to unique data – valuable to helping with early flood and fire warnings, for example – and with the ability to bid for contracts, which they haven’t been able to access for three years.
Together, this deal is set to create and support thousands of new jobs as part of the next generation of research talent. It will help deliver the Prime Minister’s ambition to grow the economy and cement the UK as a science and technology superpower by 2030.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak added:
“Innovation has long been the foundation for prosperity in the UK, from the breakthroughs improving healthcare to the technological advances growing our economy.
“With a wealth of expertise and experience to bring to the global stage, we have delivered a deal that enables UK scientists to confidently take part in the world’s largest research collaboration programme – Horizon Europe.
“We have worked with our EU partners to make sure that this is right deal for the UK, unlocking unparalleled research opportunities, and also the right deal for British taxpayers.”