UK association with Horizon Europe still a priority

UK organisations can still join Horizon Europe proposals, but our call for full association is still being made loud and clear

We reported some good and bad news about Horizon Europe in our last blog. The good news was that the UK government had extended its Horizon Europe (HE) guarantee funding mechanism to include a second wave of projects – and one of our projects was included in that wave. A collective sigh of relief was heard here at Insight Media as the announcement meant we would be able to participate in the first of our HE projects, which is due to start very soon.

The bad news was that the UK and the EU had still not managed to put politics to one side and activate the UK’s association with HE, something agreed in the Trade and Cooperation agreement back in December 2020. This lack of progress means that unless the UK government continues to guarantee funding for UK universities and organisations involved in the €95.5 billion European funding programme, we will not be able to participate.

Unfortunately, nothing has changed since that last blog. So, we have good and bad news again, I’m afraid.

The good news is that here at Insight Media we can celebrate as we have signed the consortium agreement for Flash-Comp, our new HE project so we can now look forward to the kick-off meeting with our new European partners.

The bad news is that we will have to continue waiting for both the UK and the EU to put science first and get the association sorted.

Of course, the guarantee funding is very welcome and it keeps the UK heavily involved in European research for this year at least. But the continued delay on association is still a big problem. The longer the uncertainty about the future of UK participation in HE continues the more jittery everyone is getting, and the already complex European research landscape just gets even more confusing.

Already the UK is out of the EIC Fund part of the EIC Accelerator. Meanwhile, we are also out of Erasmus+ 2021-2027, the EU’s COVID-19 recovery fund called NextGenerationEU, and SURE, the EU’s effort to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency. Restrictions also apply to EUREKA-Eurostars, Interreg and ERA-NETs.

On top of all that, continued confusion over HE and no clear indication of what may happen in the future should association and guaranteed funding disappear, doesn’t help anyone.

So, our message remains the same to both the UK and the EU authorities dealing with Horizon Europe association – get it sorted, please.

Meanwhile, Insight Media extends an arm of friendship and cooperation and continues to offer our dissemination and communication expertise to all our European friends – you can still work with UK companies like us, just as you always have done. Just give us a call.

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