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| 1 minute read

UK rejoins Horizon and Copernicus programmes

In a boost to UK research that will be welcomed, not just by scientists based in the United Kingdom, but by research groups across Europe, the UK and the EU have announced that agreement has been reached to allow the UK to rejoin the Horizon Europe research programme as an associate member. Horizon Europe is the EU's leading scientific research funding programme.  The current programme will last until 2027 and has a budget of €95.5 billion. The UK left Horizon as a result its departure from the European Union and discussions regarding the UK's future participation in the programme were stalled as a result of disagreements over other aspects of Brexit. Indeed, the UK had announced plans to set up its own research funding programme if agreement with the EU could not be reached. However, this was widely perceived in the scientific community to be a second best option.

This announcement promises to significantly enhance innovation in the UK.  Furthermore, a significant feature of Horizon is the way that it promotes collaboration between research groups in different countries, including EU members and also other associated members such as Norway and Israel.  The benefits will therefore be felt by scientists in many countries and, as the research leads to new discoveries and innovative products, ultimately by us all.

The UK is also rejoining the EU Copernicus programme, which is the Earth observation component of the EU's space programme.  It provides information services that utilise the vast amounts of data generated by satellites and other measurement systems.

This is a landmark moment for scientific and space collaboration between the EU and the UK.


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