The League of European Research Universities (LERU) has celebrated an agreement concerning the UK’s association to Horizon Europe.
Horizon Europe is a seven year EU scientific research initiative which promotes collaboration between researchers. The initiative hopes to spark innovation which will allow for better policy making while tackling global challenges.
Trinity Provost and Chairperson of LERU, Dr Linda Doyle celebrated the news stating: “We are delighted to finally see the UK’s association to Horizon Europe, as it will foster collaboration, knowledge exchange, and groundbreaking discoveries for the benefit of society as a whole.”
The programme has a budget of €95.5 billion which is used to fund research in its associated universities. This funding, which is provided by the EU, hopes to tackle five main areas: adaptation to climate change, cancer research, ocean restoration, smart cities, and soil health.
The European Commission says that its agreement with the UK will be of benefit to both parties. This agreement comes after in depth discussions which will allow for improved partnership and a greater research relationship. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen highlighted the achievement saying “the EU and UK are key strategic partners and allies, and today’s agreement proves that point”. She pledged to “continue to be at the forefront of global science and research”.
The parties’ agreement remains in line with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The UK will be obligated to contribute financially to the EU’s budget. This contribution is expected to be approximately €2.6 billion per year. This figure will allow for UK involvement in Horizon Europe as well as the Copernicus component of the EU’s space programme.
LERU applauded the agreement and highlighted the importance of the UK’s involvement in the programme saying: “By finally securing the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe, LERU believes that significant strides will be made in tackling global challenges, advancing knowledge, and driving innovation.”
LERU is a network of 23 leading European research universities, five of which are in the UK. The organisation says that it will “continue to advocate for an open, inclusive, and robust European research landscape that encourages the free flow of ideas, talent, and resources”.