Horizon 2020 update from DVC Research and Impact (18/08/16)

Dear Colleagues,

I promised to keep you up to date with EU decisions affecting the University and last week there has been significant reassurance from Government on continuity funding for UK applicants to European research and innovation funding. The message behind the statement shows a ringing endorsement for the UK science base emanating from our universities. This will be very reassuring news for staff involved in projects at Exeter and will enable applications to continue unhindered. The University of Exeter currently has over 130 live EU projects with a total value of over 75m Euros. I would encourage all academic colleagues to continue to engage actively with our European research colleagues and to continue bidding for European research funds. We will keep you posted on any updates and specific queries should go to EUresearch@exeter.ac.uk.

The statement indicates that where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while the UK is still a member of the EU, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. The specific example of universities participating in Horizon 2020 is mentioned.

Reaction from Research Councils UK welcomed the statement made by HM Treasury, stating "The success of UK research is dependent on our best researchers collaborating with partners and sharing facilities across international boundaries. Clarification of the status of UK applicants to Horizon 2020 funding will allow UK researchers and their partners to continue to bid with confidence."

In the statement Philip Hammond said "I am confirming that structural and investment funds projects signed before the Autumn Statement and Horizon research funding granted before we leave the EU will be guaranteed by the Treasury after we leave."

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: “The government’s commitment to our world-leading science and research base remains steadfast.

“By underwriting the significant Horizon 2020 grants we are showing the extent of our commitment, standing squarely behind our researchers and scientists as they continue working with their European partners to develop new technologies, discover life-saving medicines and pioneer every day innovations that will benefit all hard-working Britons.

“The UK is world renowned for our contribution to global science and innovation, ranking second in the most recent Global Innovation Index as well as being home to the most productive science base in the G7.”

Science minister Jo Johnson said: “For centuries, Britain has been at the forefront of world-leading science and, as a truly global knowledge economy, it’s more important than ever that we support the brightest and best researchers and innovators.

“By underwriting Horizon 2020 funding in this way today, we are again demonstrating the importance we place on maintaining the world leading research that takes place in the UK.

“With a budget of almost €80bn (£69bn) between 2014 and 2020, the programme awards funding to the most innovative research ideas to help bring them to market quicker, creating jobs and benefiting the lives of millions around the world through scientific breakthroughs and new technologies.”

Sincerely,

Nick

Professor Nicholas J Talbot FRS
Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Impact
University of Exeter
Northcote House
Exeter EX4 4QJ
Tel: + 44 (0)1392 723006 (PA: Sarah Warren)