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UK-Ireland, 2018

Letter on Brexit from EIT Health UK-Ireland Managing Director Leslie Harris

15th August 2019

Good news on UK plans for Horizon 2020

Dear EIT Health Partners and Friends,

As EIT Health is currently funded within the European Union’s Horizon 2020 instrument, and EIT Health-backed projects are, legally speaking, Horizon 2020 projects, we follow closely any news on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and its potential impact on UK participation in Horizon 2020, and the implications for EIT Health and our UK-based partners.

I was very pleased to read the latest overview of the UK’s relationship with Horizon 2020, released by the UK Government last week. The paper gives a positive outlook for Horizon 2020 participants, in the event of both deal and no-deal scenarios. Although in case of no deal the measures outlined by the UK Government would not yet be legally binding, it is very reassuring to see the Government’s commitment to ensure the participation of UK entities in Horizon 2020, until and beyond Brexit.

 

The first phase of the Brexit negotiations had a favourable outcome for UK participation in Horizon 2020, as both sides agreed that UK entities would be allowed to participate in Horizon 2020 until the end of the programme – thus beyond the Brexit deadline of 29 March 2019 – and for the lifetime of funded projects. This agreement will become legal if the Withdrawal Agreement, currently in draft form, is ratified by both parties. In this case, EIT Health partners would continue to be eligible to apply for our Calls for Proposals after Brexit, and thus lead and participate in EIT Health projects funded through Horizon 2020 throughout their lifetime.

Shortly after the Brexit referendum, we drew your attention to the UK Government’s Underwrite Guarantee stressing the Government’s commitment to underwrite Horizon 2020 funding for all successful UK-based organisations that applied before Brexit (29 March 2019). I was equally pleased to see the latest Government overview confirming this Guarantee in case of a no-deal scenario. In order for EIT Health partners to benefit from this provision, we decided to bring forward the deadline for applications of our upcoming Call for Proposals (BP2020) prior to 29th March 2019.

In addition to the previously-announced Underwrite Guarantee, the UK Government has also announced a Post-EU Exit Guarantee Extension, whereby it would allow UK entities to apply for and participate in Horizon 2020 projects even after the Brexit deadline, until the end of Horizon 2020, if no deal with the EU is reached. This is excellent news for EIT Health Partners based in the UK and we are committed to facilitating their full participation in our Calls to drive health innovation across Europe, before and after EU exit.

We appreciate the UK Government’s proactive communication and commitment to ensuring UK and EU researchers, universities and businesses will be able to continue to collaborate after the UK leaves the EU. We encourage all partners to take reassurance from this update and ensure the continued participation of UK-based partners in your consortia.

–Leslie Harris,

Managing Director, EIT Health UK-Ireland

 

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