How will European Grant Funding be affected by Brexit?
- EUROPEAN FUNDING, POST BREXIT -
While we in the business community, and specifically the cutting edge businesses at the forefront of innovation and growth that we at Granted Consultancy are working with, try to come to terms with Brexit, here is some information about how Brexit will impact EU grant funding.
Specifically with regards to UK participation in the Horizon 2020 programme (H2020 – the flagship EU R&D grant funding programme) there are links in this blog to relevant reading and viewing materials. To save you the glorious detail we have summarised this as far as possible in three statements.
EXHIBIT A -
The Q&A document published on the back of the press conference of President Juncker highlights that “During negotiations under Article 50, European Union treaties and law continue to apply to the UK.” Positive start. From this we can deduce that (at least) until the UK invokes Article 50 it will be a participant in the H2020 programme. Regarding timeframe, this will mean (if we can trust Cameron for a moment) waiting for a new UK Prime Minister to be appointed and the new cabinet invoking Article 50. People in the know put this at between 3 and 6 months from today.
EXHIBIT B -
Furthermore, this also implies that the UK will continue to be subject to EU law and treaties during discussion negotiations of Article 50. As we have all been reading over the weekend the UK has a 2 year period of negotiations under Article 50 before Brexit is official. So, it seems likely that UK companies will be eligible under the H2020 grant programme for at least the next two years. See extract from that same Q&A document:
“The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”
EXHIBIT C –
Our clients looking at securing R&D funding will tell you that even 2 years is a relatively short timeframe to be working with, so what might the future hold for R&D grant funding under Brexit? Under the current programme, countries in Europe and indeed some outside of Europe, regardless of whether they are member states, participate in the H2020 programme and can receive grant funding. For example, Norway (not an EU member), Israel and South Korea are all active participant nations. The key to qualification is contribution of funding. The UK will certainly have the option to continue to be a part of this Horizon 2020 programme to 2020 and furthermore, have the option to be a part of the next iteration of EU-wide R&D funding coming online in 2021/22. Sure, it is now unlikely that the UK will be able to influence the allocation of R&D grant funding to the same extent, but the future looks optimistic from where we are sitting as experts in the grant funding sector working with ambitious businesses across Europe.
For more material, please refer to the joint statement of the four Presidents, the messages issued at the press conference of President Juncker (including his answers to questions by journalists), and the Q&A document.
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