George Freeman MP, Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation has replied to the RAS President Prof. Mike Edmunds regarding the surrender of £1.6 billion previously allocated for association to the EU Horizon Europe programme.
In February Prof. Edmunds wrote to Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology expressing concern that this funding was lost (‘surrendered’ to HM Treasury) and no longer available for research and development.
Mr Freeman states that this is a result of the UK not being able to associate to Horizon in this financial year, and that the allocated funds are therefore a departmental underspend, returned to Treasury in the normal way.
The Society will continue to press the Government on association to Horizon Europe. Since 2016 we have raised this as an issue of key importance to astronomers and geophysicists, many of whom enjoyed significant support from previous EU Framework Programmes.