U.K. rejoins Europe’s Horizon R&D program after Brexit forced exit

The United Kingdom (U.K.) will rejoin the European Union’s (EU) science R&D funding program, after issues with Brexit forced a three-year hiatus.

The European Commission (EC) and the U.K, via a joint statement, made the announcement, hailing the move as a “landmark moment” for scientific collaboration between the U.K. and EU.

Horizon Europe is a seven-year initiative designed to fund innovation and foster collaboration across the EU and beyond.

Horizon has expanded beyond the EU to include partnerships with nearly a dozen associated member countries, including Ukraine, Armenia, Israel, and New Zealand.

The European Commission (EC) blocked the U.K.’s participation in Horizon as the U.K exited the EU bloc in January 2020.

In November 2021, thousands of EU research and academic institutions spanning universities, academies of science and rectors’ associations issued a joint statement to the EC, calling for the U.K.’s immediate readmission to Horizon Europe.

Starting from January 1, 2024, the U.K. will rejoin the program — in addition to the separate Copernicus Earth observation satellite program — to the cost of €2.6 billion ($2.8 billion) per year. This will run for the remainder of Horizon Europe’s timeline, which is through 2027.

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