Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Science and Technology Secretary travels to Brussels to meet EU Research & Innovation Commissioner [April 2023]

The press release issued by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology on 4 April 2023.

The Science and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan, will travel to discuss research collaboration including the UK’s expectations around association with Horizon Europe.

  • Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan meeting European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel in Brussels
  • introductory meeting to discuss collaboration on research and innovation, including association with Horizon Europe and other EU programmes
  • follows meeting with Donelan and EU Ambassador in London last month

The Science and Technology Secretary will travel to Brussels to meet European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel later today (Tuesday 4 April), to discuss research collaboration including the UK’s expectations around association with Horizon Europe.

The visit in Brussels follows extensive engagement with the research and development sector in the UK and a meeting between Michelle Donelan, Science Minister George Freeman and the EU’s Ambassador to London, Pedro Serrano, on 14 March.

The UK welcomes the EU’s recent willingness to engage in discussions on UK association to EU programmes. Discussions will need to reflect the lasting impact of 2 years of delays to the UK’s association.

In parallel, the UK government has been developing plans for a bold alternative in case the terms of association with Horizon Europe are not in the UK’s interest. These will be published in the coming days and we will engage with and seek input from researchers and businesses to develop these proposals further. The plans will also provide long-term certainty if we are unable to reach the right terms through discussions with the EU. In all circumstances, the government will ensure that UK researchers benefit from world-leading collaboration with colleagues from Europe and beyond.

The government is dedicated to supporting the science and research sector in the UK, which is why we have committed to increase public R&D investment to £20 billion by 2024-2025, a record increase of 30% in cash terms over the spending review period.

Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Michelle Donelan, said:

I am determined to ensure our world-class scientists have the very best platform on which to continue their work, with research that transforms the way we live and work, not just here in the UK, but around the world.

I look forward to this introductory meeting with the EU and discussing possible future association with Horizon Europe. But we can only do so on the right terms, and I’m Brussels today to ensure there is understanding of that on both sides, while taking forward these discussions in a constructive and respectful way.

To support researchers during this period, the government announced an extension to the support provided to UK Horizon Europe applicants until the end of June, which has totalled more than £882 million to date. Eligible, successful applicants to Horizon Europe will receive the full value of their funding at their UK host institution for the lifetime of their grant and UK researchers are encouraged to continue to apply to Horizon Europe calls on this basis.