United Kingdom scientists will have access to the world’s largest research collaboration program, Horizon Europe, as the Prime Minister secures a bespoke deal with improved financial terms for the UK’s participation.
UK researchers can now apply for grants and bid to take part in projects under the Horizon program, with certainty that the UK will be participating as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the program to 2027.
Once adopted, the UK will also be able to join the governance of EU programs – which the UK has been excluded from over the last three years – ensuring we can shape collaboration taking place next year. And UK researchers will be able to lead consortia in the next work program of Horizon Europe projects.
“This is truly a great result. The UK retains its position as a world leader in research & innovation and there was strong positioning from researchers in the UK and Europe that lobbied hard for the UK to re-join what is the largest research funding initiative worldwide.” — Paul M. Stewart, MD, FRCP, emeritus professor of Medicine at the University of Leeds and clinical vice president of the Academy of Medical Sciences; editor-in-chief, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Horizon will give UK companies and research institutions opportunities to lead global work to develop new technologies and research projects, in areas from health to AI. This will not only open up cooperation with the EU, but also Norway, New Zealand, and Israel, which are part of the program – and countries like Korea and Canada which are looking to join too.
This follows a call between the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen on September 6. They are encouraging UK scientists to apply with confidence from today and they agreed that the UK and EU will work together to boost participation.
“This is truly a great result,” says Paul M. Stewart, MD, FRCP, emeritus professor of Medicine at the University of Leeds and clinical vice president of the Academy of Medical Sciences. “The UK retains its position as a world leader in research and innovation and there was strong positioning from researchers in the UK and Europe who lobbied hard for the UK to re-join what is the largest research funding initiative worldwide (over 60 billion euros). It took us a while to persuade politicians to do so in our post-BREXIT era, but yesterday was a pivotal moment in bringing this to fruition. I believe it also sends a strong message to the world about the commitment that the UK continues to have in this important area.”
Stewart, who also serves as the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, goes on the say that endocrine, diabetes, and metabolism research always performs well in this funding stream.
“The Global Alliance for Chronic Disease (€30m) is funding numerous projects to address the 60 million patients across Europe with Diabetes,” Stewart tells Endocrine News. “Projects include nanomaterial solutions for pancreatic islet transplantation, pioneering new therapies to lifestyle intervention changes to prevent and treat diabetes.”
Stewart goes on to point to rare diseases that affect 5% of the population, and he says that endocrine disorders are over-represented. “A single nation approach in Europe can never provide the power or numbers for full and detailed mechanistic understanding and development of new therapies,” he says, “but the EU funded European Reference network on Rare Endocrine Disorders can undertake research on the entire 600 million EU population. Immense impact has been delivered across numerous endocrine disorders.”
“Finally,” Stewart continues, “an area close to my heart as a founder instigator and member the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumours (ENS@T) pulls together clinicians, scientists, patients, industry, and interdisclipinary researchers to improve the care of patients with adrenal tumours. Seminal advances have been made that include uncovering the genetic basis for primary aldosteronism and pheochromocytoma, trials that have improved outcomes for patients with aggressive adrenocortical carcinoma, and novel diagnostic -omic technologies to ensure early detection.”