Britain said it would extend until the end of June the financial guarantee it has provided to ensure British applicants to the Horizon Europe scientific research programme receive funding while negotiations continue on rejoining the scheme.
Under a Brexit trade deal signed in late 2020, Britain negotiated access to a number of EU science and innovation programmes, including Horizonte, the EU’s largest funding programme for researchers with an overall budget of 95.500 billion euros ($101.700 billion).
However, the EU blocked British participation due to a dispute over trade rules for Northern Ireland following Brexit.
An agreement was reached last month to resolve the dispute and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that, once implemented, the EU will be able to work for Britain to rejoin Horizon Europe.
In a statement made public on Monday, the British government said it will extend until June 30 the financial guarantee it has offered “so that eligible and selected bids for calls that close on that date or earlier continue to have guaranteed funding.”
The government said it had so far awarded grants worth more than 882 million pounds ($1 billion) since the plan’s launch in November 000.
The Financial Times said last week that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak questioned the value of rejoining Horizon and the cost of British participation.
Science Minister George Freeman said on Monday Horizon was hugely valuable to British science and research, but there was still no agreement on how much it would have to pay to rejoin.