The Science Minister has called on UK businesses receiving Horizon 2020 research funding to register their details with the government so that they continue to receive funding if Britain leaves the EU without a deal.
Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest research and innovation programme, providing approximately €80 billion in funding between 2014 and 2020.
Businesses in the UK have secured almost 15% of the total funding for projects that focus on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.
Organisations from a wide range of industries have benefited from Horizon 2020, such as transport, with investment helping to discover new welding techniques that will make railways much more efficient.
The government’s intention is that eligibility for businesses won’t change for the remainder of the programme, but with no deal still a possibility, there is the possibility that UK companies won’t be able to access funding for Horizon 2020 projects the day after Brexit.
As a result, the government is reiterating the call for businesses to register on the online portal – launched last September after the government confirmed that all successful UK funding bids submitted prior to Brexit will be guaranteed, including on the Horizon 2020 programme.
There have been 5,500 registrations to the portal, comprising a mixture of higher education institutions, businesses, research organisations, charities and public bodies.
And Chris Skidmore, Science and Innovation Minister, said this portal will ensure businesses continue to receive funding, if the worst case scenario comes to pass.
He said: “We have guaranteed that UK organisations and businesses who receive EU science and research funding will continue to do so even if we leave the EU without a deal at the end of March.
“I want to ensure researchers and innovators have the confidence to push on with their great work, which is why I urge businesses to register their details on this simple online portal for Horizon 2020 grants.”