The Government has outlined the future of EU research funding, including Horizon 2020, following parliamentary questions submitted by the Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake MP.
The Government confirmed that the UK will look to establish an ambitious future agreement with the EU that covers research, science and innovation. It also acknowledged that science and research are vital aspects of the UK’s “prosperity, security and well-being” and will look to make sure collaboration with the EU continues to grow following Brexit.
In addition, the Government committed to underwrite Horizon 2020 funding if necessary. This guarantees funding for UK participants in projects ongoing at the point of exit, as well as any successful bids submitted before the UK leaves the EU. The Government has encouraged the UK research and innovation community to continue to bid for Horizon 2020 funding and participate in Horizon 2020 projects.
The future of Horizon 2020 has been under question since the 2016 referendum. The initiative, aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness, offers support and funding to EU based organisations focused on the areas of excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.
As of 6 March 2018, the UK’s share of Horizon 2020 participants was 12.4 per cent and they received 14.5 per cent of the total European Commission Horizon 2020 funding. This is equivalent to around €4.2 billion.
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“In 2016 the UK received over €1.6 billion of research funding. Losing this vital funding without a replacement could have adverse effects on businesses and innovation.
“Investment in research and innovation is vital, which is why we welcome the Government’s commitment to guarantee Horizon 2020 funding throughout the withdrawal period and beyond. Horizon has supported video games development in the UK and we want to see this important source of funding continue.
“While it is important that the Government maintains or replaces EU funding, it can go further. That is why TIGA has called for the introduction of a Games Investment Fund, which would provide pound for pound matched funding, up to a maximum of £500,000, for original game projects.”