The UK government is urging organisations that benefit from European Union (EU) research funding to sign-up to a UK-led replacement scheme now in order to guarantee that their Horizon 2020 project funding can continue after Brexit.
What Is Horizon 2020?
Dating back to 2014, Horizon 2020 from the EU, is the largest ever European funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of 79 billion euros and is set to run until 2020. It is aimed at improving Europe’s global competitiveness in research and innovation. Applications for the funding are open to registered businesses, charities, partnerships or research organisations with a legal standing across the EU. For example, higher education institutions, public bodies and charities make up many of the applicants.
What’s The Problem?
The concern, highlighted by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is that when the UK leaves the EU (possibly without a deal), in order to ensure no disruption in the receipt of funding that organisations are currently receiving from the EU’s Horizon 2020 project, they will need to sign up to a UK-led replacement programme that guarantees continuity in a no-deal Brexit scenario. According to BEIS figures, therefore, the 2,700 public and private sector organisations that are receiving Horizon 2020 funding from the EU but have not yet signed up to the replacement programme could be at risk of disruption in funding and delays to future grants if they don’t sign up asap.
Although the Science and Innovation Minister, Chris Skidmore, has guaranteed that UK organisations and businesses who already receive EU science and research funding will continue to do so, even if there’s no-deal Brexit at the end of March, he is urging businesses to register their details on a simple online portal for Horizon 2020 grants in future.
Online Portal – Doesn’t Take Long
The BEIS is, therefore, encouraging the remaining 2,700 businesses to join the current 5,500 registrations to date, to sign-up on the online portal. Reports suggest that it only takes around ten minutes per grant for the data to be inputted. The new portal can be found here: https://www.ukri.org/funding/how-to-apply/
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
If you are a business or an organisation that receives Horizon 2020, and if you haven’t already done so, the advice is to sign-up via the government’s online portal (run by UKRI) to the UK-led replacement programme in order to avoid disruption to funding. The BEIS has said, for example, that If an organisation leaves it until 5th March, ahead of a no-deal Brexit on 29 March 2019, they could be risking delays to future Horizon 2020 funding.