UK Becomes Associated to Horizon Europe

The UK’s association to Horizon Europe and Copernicus was officially sealed on Monday as Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan visited Brussels.

The association agreement was adopted in the form of a protocol to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement by the EU-UK Specialised Committee on Participation in Union Programmes.

As explained by UKRO after the announcement on 7 September 2023, UK organisations will be able to participate in Horizon Europe calls for proposals on the same terms as institutions from other Associated Countries, including leading consortia and receiving EU funding, from the 2024 Work Programme and onwards. This includes any 2024 calls opening this year.

Participation in Copernicus, the EU Earth Observation programme, will enable the UK’s access to a state-of-the-art capacity to monitor the Earth and to its services, as well as provide the UK research community with access to unique data, which is often required on Horizon Europe projects.

The UK Government has published a helpful explainer document, which includes clarifications on many issues related to the UK association to both programmes.

Next steps

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will shortly launch a communications campaign to maximise participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus from researchers, academics and businesses of all sizes in the UK. This PR push will shine a light on the real-world examples of the benefits Horizon and Copernicus participation can deliver for academics, researchers and businesses, right across the UK – particularly small and medium-sized businesses involved in R&D, which might not have previously considered applying.

Alongside this, in a partnership with the British Academy and other key backers, support will be made available to selected UK researchers applying for Horizon for the first time, through ‘pump priming’ funding, with up to £10,000 available per application. The funding will be available to support those researchers who have not previously had experience, including next generation researchers. The fund will be targeted to ensure it maximises the UK’s involvement in Horizon.

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