EU funding guarantee welcomed by UK tech sector

Thousands of British organisations have received guarantees over EU funding in a move that has been welcomed by the tech sector.

Key projects supporting economic development across the UK will be given the green light, ending uncertainty over their future following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Assurances set out by the Treasury include:

  • all structural and investment fund projects, including agri-environment schemes, signed before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded, even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU
  • the Treasury will also put in place arrangements for assessing whether to guarantee funding for specific structural and investment fund projects that might be signed after the Autumn Statement, but while we remain a member of the EU
  • where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, for example universities participating in Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU

As a result, British businesses and universities will have certainty over future funding and should continue to bid for competitive EU funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.

Responding to the announcements from the Treasury, Charlotte Holloway, Policy Director at techUK, said: “This weekend’s statements from the Chancellor provide welcome short-term certainty and a reassuring signal that major science and technology projects, including Graphene research in Manchester and the Thames Valley Science Park, will be guaranteed beyond the date that the UK leaves the EU. Whilst the tech industry will be looking for more detail, including on what will happen over the longer term, this is a step in the right direction.

“The UK’s leadership in tech is tied to the success of our world-leading universities and researchers; Horizon 2020 funding for university collaborations has been hugely significant in the UK’s tech ecosystem.

“As Dame Anne Glover has highlighted, we now need to focus on making sure the Government’s approach to exiting the EU is well aligned to the needs of UK tech and science. UK leadership in these areas must be sustained with an ongoing voice at the table in shaping important international science and technology collaborations. techUK will work with the Government on priorities areas for tech, such as ensuring ongoing international data flows, access to talent and the single market, and UK involvement in areas such as the European Investment Fund through to the European Space Agency, where the UK has a major role in the £6bn Galileo satellite navigation system built with EU funds.”

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