The Prime Minister today visited the University of Warwick where he announced the UK would re-join the EU’s flagship research scheme, Horizon.
The move means that UK-based researchers and innovators will be able to access funding from the £85 billion programme, in what has been widely hailed as a major boost for the higher education sector.
Rishi Sunak said it was the ‘right deal for the UK’ as he confirmed that the UK would be rejoining Horizon as an associate member.
The Prime Minister chose to make the major policy announcement at Warwick, which has a world-class reputation for science and innovation, and has close ties with research partners across Europe.
During the visit, he was given a tour of the university’s International Manufacturing Centre, where he was shown cutting-edge 3D printing and scanning technology and spoke to researchers about their work.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had held a private conversation with university leaders, Sir David Normington (Chair); Emma Flynn (Provost); Rachel Sandby-Thomas (Registrar), and Dr Chris Twine (Secretary to Council).
The International Manufacturing Centre is one of the biggest buildings on campus, and at the heart of the university’s technological research and testing. A variety of projects have been undertaken with global companies to develop new products or improve processes at the centre.
Professor Emma Flynn, the university’s Provost, said:
“We were delighted to host the Prime Minister today and welcomed the opportunity to showcase some of the cutting-edge technology and innovation we have here at Warwick.
“The fact the Prime Minister chose to come to Warwick to make such a major announcement on science funding gives me a sense of enormous pride in our brilliant academics and researchers, who have built our reputation as a world-leading university on science, innovation and research over many years.
“The announcement today on Horizon funding is fantastic news for Warwick and the wider university sector and will help drive research excellence and collaboration with our partners.
“This deal will make help us address and make a positive difference to the environmental, economic, and social challenges we all face.”
Sir David Normington, chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor, added:
“We were delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to Warwick today and are grateful for his interest in our work at the university. Today’s announcement is great news for everyone. Allowing our scientists to work together, irrespective of borders, is in all of our interests.
“As a former civil servant, I also recognise the hard work of the negotiating team who secured this deal in the background, and they deserve great credit.”
The UK will also associate to Copernicus, the European Earth Observation programme. This will provide the UK’s earth observation sector with access to unique data – valuable to helping with early flood and fire warnings, for example – and with the ability to bid for contracts, which they have not been able to access for three years.
The University of Warwick is ranked as one of the world’s best universities, with 92% of its research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent.