The Physiological Society welcomes the UK and European Union’s joint statement that the UK will associate with Horizon Europe as of 1st January 2024.
Under the agreed terms of the deal, UK researchers will, for the first time in three years, be able to bid to participate in projects under the €95 billion (£82 billion) scheme. Horizon Europe helps foster global networks of researchers and innovators to tackle the most complex and interdisciplinary global research challenges in climate, health, energy, mobility, digital, industry space and more.
The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement included provisions for the UK to participate in Horizon Europe. Still, talks to “associate” with the scheme stalled over wider discussions about post-Brexit trade rules in Northern Ireland.
Under the new agreement, the UK has negotiated a series of additional “financial protections”. The first is that the UK will not fund the period between the UK formally leaving the European Union and its association status beginning in January of next year. The UK has also negotiated a ‘rebate’ system should UK scientists receive significantly less money than the UK puts into the programme.
The EU will now work to formally ratify the UK’s association status and promote its return to the Horizon programme to UK researchers, including physiologists, to ensure participation uptake.
Dariel Burdass, chief executive of The Physiological Society, commented: “Today’s announcement is a really important milestone for UK, European and global science. This is very welcome news, and scientists in both the UK and EU will be breathing a sigh of relief now the UK is once again part of the world’s largest research programme.
“The Physiological Society has been steadfast in making the case that UK-based researchers should be able to participate in the Horizon Europe programme fully. Collaboration is the lifeblood of science, and we know from our members the damage caused by the uncertainty around the UK’s association with Horizon Europe.
“Now the deal has concluded, it unlocks huge potential for scientists in the UK and EU to build new, exciting partnerships to drive science forward.”