Many UK Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have benefited from generous EU funded Research and Development (R&D) grants under the Horizon 2020 program. The big question is – How have EU R&D Grants been impacted by Brexit?
The UK has been a big beneficiary of the €80 billion Horizon 2020 funding program, enabling UK companies, Universities, scientists, engineers and technologists to undertake important cutting edge R&D projects. By pure coincidence the Horizon 2020 programme runs until the end of 2020, which is the same timeframe as the UK Brexit transition period. During this period the UK will continue to pay into EU budgets and benefit from EU programmes. This has been reflected in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, as approved by the UK Parliament.
So the good news is that UK projects being financed under the 2014-2020 Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) will be able to run through to their anticipated end date – even if that end date is after the transition period concludes in 2020.
UK SMEs can therefore be confident in applying for Horizon 2020 grants and the EU has assured the UK that all applications will be evaluated on merit and not on nationality. This means that UK applications should not be disadvantaged in any way as a result of Brexit.
What happens after the Horizon 2020 program has concluded will be determined by the UK and EU negotiations. Of course we hope that the UK Government will do everything possible to continue to enable an environment of cooperation, collaboration and international partnership.
In the mean-time, while it is still business as usual for Horizon grant funding applications, we suggest you make the most of this great source of funding and get your application in.
This article was written by Richard Malczyk, our R&D grants specialist.