The latest policy paper from UK government provides details of the Plan B alternative and transition arrangements should the UK not associate to Horizon Europe.
Whilst it remains the UK’s clear aim to associate to Horizon Europe, the process has become bogged down in broader political issues. During a visit by the then Science Minster, George Freeman, MP to Brussels in June, he made clear that the UK were seeking a resolution to association by the Autumn otherwise an alternative solution would be required to give certainty to the UK research community.
The policy paper Supporting UK R&D and collaborative research beyond European programmes released on 20 July, provides the first details of the possible transition arrangements and these long term alternatives should the UK not be able to associate to Horizon Europe. The PLG welcomes inclusion of key elements including:-
- Support for 3rd party participation in Horizon Europe projects signed by March 2025. Given that most projects run for 2 to 3 years this effectively supports 3rd party participation for at least 5 years.
- Strong support for extended fellowship programs and an uplift to the SMART grant program to cover any loss of access to EIC grants.
Whilst the policy paper makes clear intentions to support “investment in end-to-end innovation” the PLG encourages clarification on how the key transformative enabling technologies such as Photonics identified in the governments Innovation Strategy will be supported if association is not possible.