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UK Back in EU Horizon Research Fold After Brexit Fallout

Britain is back in the Horizon science program after being frozen out due to the EU trade spat

Ben Wodecki

September 11, 2023

1 Min Read
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At a Glance

  • British companies can now apply for research grants from the EU Horizon project as Brexit tensions thaw.

The U.K. has rejoined the EU Horizon transnational research project to collaborate on investigations into emerging technologies.

The U.K. had left following its withdrawal from the EU – the bloc froze its participation as part of a tit-for-tat over Northern Ireland trading arrangements in 2020.

But Britain is now back – with British researchers now able to apply for grants from the $106 billion scheme.

“The U.K. Government and the European Commission look forward to enabling collaboration between their researchers in which the U.K. and the EU share a mutual interest, such as in new and emerging technologies,” a joint statement reads.

U.K. companies and research institutions can now work on AI projects with EU partners as well as researchers from Norway, New Zealand and Israel.

However, under the terms of re-entry, British researchers can only take out as much as the country puts into the Horizon project itself.

The Sunak administration would contribute around $3.2 billion a year to Horizon and Copernicus, the EU’s Earth observation program, from 2024. The U.K. would not have to pay for the three years it was frozen out.

The agreement now needs to be approved by the EU Council before being formally adopted. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The EU and U.K. are key strategic partners and allies, and today's agreement proves that point. We will continue to be at the forefront of global science and research.”

Related:UK Regulators Call for Action on AI Bias, IP Rights

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About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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