EuroScience and EuroScientist members may wish to know more about what the agreement of Christmas’ eve between the EU and the UK implies for research and innovation cooperation.
Basically, the agreement stipulates that the UK will fully participate in Horizon Europe, including the Euratom parts, and also in ITER and the Copernicus space programme. The only exception is the European Innovation Council (Equity) Fund, which will provide equity investments of a couple of million €s. That means that the UK participates on a much larger scale than Switzerland. That country opted for a small number of programmes, including the European Research Council (ERC). The UK more or less follows Norway. For Horizon Europe the UK is an associated country.
In practice UK universities, research institutes and companies can participate on the same basis as they did in the past. They can receive EU funding; they have the same rights and obligations as EU entities; they can also be coordinator of a consortium.
The only difference is that, as for all associated countries, the UK will participate in the relevant EU committees as observer, that is, without voting rights.
Financially the arrangement is similar to other associated countries. The UK contributes with a ratio of the UK GDP divided by the GDP of the EU. In addition the UK pays a one-off participation fee of 4% of the annual operational costs.
Of course, the sad thing is that the UK has decided to no longer participate in the Erasmus exchange programme, but for research and innovation the situation will, the above exception of the EIC Fund, not change which is good for international cooperation.
Written by Peter Tindemans, former Secretary General of EuroScience