The UK is set to rejoin the Horizon Europe science research programme, as confirmed by Rishi Sunak.
Starting from Thursday, British scientists will have the opportunity to once again apply for grants from this £85 billion programme. This development is expected to be met with jubilation by the UK's science community, which was previously one of the programme's leading beneficiaries.
The deal was sealed following a call between Sunak and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president.
The European Commission expects the UK to contribute around £2.6bn on average a year to Horizon and Copernicus, with these contributions slated to commence from January 2024. Downing Street has further stated that this approach will offer "breathing space" to enhance the participation of UK researchers in open calls for grants before starting to pay into the programmes.
Von der Leyen said, “The EU and UK are key strategic partners and allies, and today’s agreement proves that point. We will continue to be at the forefront of global science and research”.
The decision to rejoin Horizon Europe represents a vital step in rebuilding and strengthening the UK's global scientific reputation. It acknowledges the immense efforts of researchers in the UK and across Europe who consistently emphasised the significance of international collaboration for science.
Michelle Mitchell, the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, expressed relief and reaffirmed the importance of international research partnerships in advancing scientific knowledge and healthcare research. Mitchell stated, “Nearly three-quarters of respondents to our survey of cancer researchers cited funding from the EU as important for their work, showing how crucial Horizon Europe association is for the future of cancer research”.
Source: The Guardian
Image Credit: iStock