Research investment to support sector while Horizon negotiations continue

November 22nd, 2022

The government has announced almost £500m in funding for the UK’s R&D sector to mitigate the “increasing pressure on UK universities and research organisations” caused by ongoing uncertainty over UK participation in Horizon Europe.

On Monday 21 November, Science Minister George Freeman made a written statement to the House of Commons indicating that details of the government’s planned alternative to Horizon would be published shortly.

Some £280 million of the new funds will be distributed by UKRI, including just over £70m each for both the UKRI World Class Labs fund and the Research Capital Investment Fund, as well as £100m in QR funding for English universities, with additional funding for the other UK nations.

The package also includes £30m for the Talent and Research Stabilisation Fund, designed to help with talent retention in the absence of Horizon association.

Stephanie Smith, Head of Policy (Research and International) at the Russell Group, said:

“The additional funding will provide some welcome support to the research sector in the short-term while discussions regarding UK association to Horizon Europe continue.

“With over £500m already drawn down, the UK Government’s Horizon guarantee has been a success, reassuring researchers and innovators that they can continue to apply for grants and helping to keep the window for UK association open. It is important that the guarantee is extended beyond 2022 so that UK researchers can continue to participate in the 2023 ERC work programme.

“The research and science community on both sides of the channel continue to make clear that full UK participation in Horizon Europe remains the best outcome, and we hope to see a breakthrough soon that will unlock the enormous benefits it would bring to the UK and EU.

In the meantime, this new investment in UK research excellence and infrastructure is a tangible realisation of the Government’s economic agenda, building on our people and ideas to deliver innovation-driven growth.”

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