United Kingdom rejoins Horizon Europe!

07 September 2023 | From UNICA

United Kingdom rejoins Horizon Europe!

The United Kingdom is back on Horizon Europe!

The European Commission and the United Kingdom have struck a political agreement regarding the UK’s involvement in two crucial European Union initiatives: Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation program, and Copernicus, the Earth observation program. Commenting on the agreement, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that “The EU and UK are key strategic partners and allies, and today’s agreement proves that point. We will continue to be at the forefront of global science and research.”

Starting from January 1, 2024, researchers and organizations in the UK will enjoy equal participation rights and access to funding under Horizon Europe, enabling them to collaborate on global challenges spanning climate, energy, digitalization, space exploration, and more. The association with Copernicus will grant the UK access to this strategically significant space program, which plays a pivotal role in achieving the European Green Deal and net-zero objectives. Additionally, the UK will benefit from services provided by the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking component of the EU Space Program.

The agreement aligns with the existing EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, ensuring financial contributions from the UK to the EU budget and adhering to established safeguards.

The President of UNICA, Sorin Costreie, shared that “UNICA community warmly salutes the return of the UK to Horizon Europe. EU & UK are stronger together in advancing science and technology. Only by combining our research efforts and sharing our innovative ideas, we will strengthen Europe’s position on the global stage“.

Persistence pays off!

The UK’s return to the Horizon program is a significant achievement that organizations and universities across Europe have passionately advocated for, marking the culmination of extensive efforts and a united front in support of research and innovation collaboration.

Representatives of the Europe’s vibrant research and innovation community played a pivotal role in this achievement, which is essential to establish a robust framework program for research and innovation, ensuring that Europe remains at the forefront of global scientific endeavors. UNICA is one of the organisations that joined the many pledges in the last years urging the EU to promptly ratify the UK’s association with Horizon Europe.

In a compelling open letter, from 2021, directed to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the signatories stressed the “long history of close and trusted collaboration and shared success with the UK” and that “Europe’s strategic autonomy requires close collaboration with the EU’s closest partner in research and innovation“.

Continuing the reaffirmation of the power of collaboration and shared goals

Despite this extraordinary achievement, it’s important to reaffirm UNICA remains committed to supporting the association of Switzerland as we do with the UK. As the home to world-class research institutions, Switzerland is an essential partner for the success of strategic areas and the European Research Area (ERA) as a whole.

Additionally, we reaffirm our trust in joint advocacy efforts. We believe that close cooperation with other organizations is the most effective tool to reach our common goals and is the utmost proof of our collective dedication to advancing research and innovation.

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