28th September 2023
On 7th September 2023, the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a new UK- EU agreement on the UK’s association to Horizon Europe. This strategic move ensures that UK scientists and researchers can now actively participate in Horizon Europe’s programmes, fostering collaborative efforts that transcend borders. Horizon Europe is the current EU’s Framework Research and Innovation funding programme.
This historic deal, negotiated over the last six months, presents a substantial advantage for the scientific community and organisations like EIT Health Ireland-UK. Here are the key points of the agreement and its implications.
- It offers UK companies and research institutions unparalleled opportunities to lead global initiatives in fields ranging from healthcare to artificial intelligence.
- Beyond fostering collaboration with EU member states, it will open up cooperation with Norway, New Zealand and Israel which are part of the programme – and countries like South Korea and Canada which are looking to join too.
- UK scientists and researchers can apply for grants and lead consortia within the program, actively contributing to its direction and goals.
- This deal is set to create and support thousands of new jobs as part of the next generation of research talent.
“The UK’s association to Horizon Europe is excellent news. It will allow UK organisations to once more contribute their expertise to collaborative projects without the uncertainty and risk that has been associated with the safety net mechanism of the past 3 years. UK’s participation remains in demand and I hope that we will quickly see it return to pre-Brexit levels,” said Graham Armitage, Managing Director, EIT Health Ireland-UK.
“For EIT Health Ireland-UK, it means a level playing field across our geography which I hope will allow us to once again recruit strong and active Partners from the UK, growing our Ireland-UK participation to the benefit of healthcare innovation in both the UK and Europe.”
What is Horizon Europe?
Horizon Europe, the European Union‘s flagship research and innovation funding initiative, has a budget of €95.5 billion for the 2021-2027 period. Comprising three pillars, this program is the largest research and innovation funding platform globally.
- The first pillar centres on the promotion and dissemination of scientific excellence, enabling the next generation of research, technology, and innovation. It also addresses global challenges and supports world-class research infrastructure and the training and mobility of researchers.
- Pillar two of Horizon Europe is challenge-driven, focusing on addressing specific issues rather than being idea-driven. It focuses on solving global challenges through collaborative research and innovation.
- The third pillar concentrates on supporting innovators and innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). UK organisations are eligible for grant support under the European Innovation Council within this pillar. Also, sitting under this pillar is EIT Health, which has a network that connects world-class organisations from the three worlds of business, research and education to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
Calling all UK-based start-ups and researchers! If you’re on the lookout for exciting opportunities to collaborate and drive innovation, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today.