BEIS returns £1.6bn allocated to research funding

The Treasury has taken back the amount it had allocated for the UK’s involvement in the European Union’s research programme

The Treasury has taken back £1.6 billion that it had allocated for the UK’s involvement in the European Union’s research programme, Horizon Europe, or domestic alternatives.

Official documents show that £1,602,000,000 was “unused funding for Horizon and Euroatom association.

The UK’s associate membership of the Horizon Europe programme was foreseen in the 2020 Brexit agreement.

However, the EU has delayed the UK’s membership due to the dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Industry resources say that UK researchers and businesses should already be part of Horizon Europe but the EU delayed the UK’s participation for nearly two years now.

A few months ago, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) said: “The EU is still in the process of formalising the UK’s association to the Horizon Europe funding programme. UK Research and Innovation is playing a key role in tackling the impacts of this delay.”

The UKRI committed to delivering £280 million in new funding to help address the impact of the ongoing delay in UK association to the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We have tirelessly been pushing the EU to implement our association to EU Programmes for two years.

“Despite our continuing efforts to associate, we are ready to invest in the sector, if necessary, through launching our own comprehensive alternative programme of international science, research and innovation collaborations.

“We do remain willing to associate and discuss with the EU.”

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