As we are approaching the Horizon Europe Guarantee Scheme expiry date (30 June 2023), we were expecting to have some news regarding the UK association to the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation (R&I) programme. Well, there is nothing new under the Sun, nor are there signs that we are approaching a conclusion. We have heard countless times that association is the preferred outcome of the ongoing negotiations between the UK government and the European Commission and this statement remains in actuality. 

Yet, the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has been proactive and has recently published the Pioneer Prospectus (April 2023), which outlines the UK’s plan for R&I international collaboration in case of non-association to Horizon Europe. With a budget of £14.6 bn from its start until 2027/ 2028, the Pioneer funding scheme consists of four interconnected programmes (Talent, Innovation, Global and Infrastructure) plus the Horizon Europe guarantee. Pioneer’s intention for the short, medium, and long term is to provide calls for funding, to expand UK’s technological mission and to launch a Moonshots programme.

In the meantime, the question remains: to participate or to not participate? Despite the fact that many researchers are reaching their wits end over this, the UKRI advice is to continue applying to the Horizon Europe calls. If an agreement is not reached, UK organisations will be able to apply to a wide range of Horizon Europe calls which are open to Third Countries participants. The main difference will be that UK partners will not be able to coordinate a project, will not be included in the minimum number of participants and will not be funded by the European Commission.

Find out more about funding opportunities for international R&I on the RIS Intranet page here and here and join us online on the 24th of May 2023 at the R&I International Collaboration event to find out about past and current engagement with International R&I at the University of Portsmouth.