Imperial's Vice-Provost (Research), Prof Nick Jennings, writes in an email to all staff on 12th January 2021:
I am writing to provide you with a brief update on European collaboration following the Brexit deal agreed between the UK and EU over the Christmas break.
First, there is the excellent news that the deal paves the way for our future participation in Horizon Europe. While the UK still has to formalise this through final negotiations with the European Commission, the first Horizon calls are expected in the Spring and we hope that the UK will be in the programme by that point (or shortly thereafter).
Association will give UK scientists, researchers and businesses access to the vast majority of the Horizon Europe programme, including the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, on the same basis as EU member states and on equivalent terms as organisations in EU countries. UK researchers will continue to be able to be PIs and lead and coordinate projects.
Horizon Europe will have three main ‘pillars’ and a budget of around €95 billion (up almost 30% from Horizon 2020). Most of these will be familiar to you from our substantial participation in Horizon 2020:
- Pillar one: ‘Excellent Science’ will continue to support researchers through fellowships as well as projects defined and driven by researchers themselves, including through the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions.
- Pillar two: Global Challenges, ‘societal’ evolution and industrial leadership. It will directly support research relating to societal challenges and setting EU-wide missions.
- Pillar three: Innovative Europe, very similar to previous European Innovation Council activities.
The UK is also expecting to participate in the Copernicus, EURATOM research and training and ITER programmes. The Research Office will issue further information as soon as it becomes available (see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/research-office/funder-information/european-commission/eu-news-and-events/ for regular updates)
It is critical that we continue to apply for funding to the end of Horizon2020 and to the first possible Horizon Europe calls, not least to demonstrate the value of the programme for us to partners and Government.
Imperial is the 8th most successful HEI worldwide at winning funding from Horizon2020 and I hope we continue at this level (this corresponds to around 10% of our research income last year). We will continue to make the case to Government for a swift completion of the outstanding negotiations and emphasise the importance for European partnerships for excellent science at Imperial and beyond.
If you have any queries or questions then feel free to get in touch with me.