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Horizon 2020 underwrite guarantee update


The government has updated its information for UK applicants to Horizon 2020, the European Union’s flagship programme for science and innovation.

A technical notice published today (Thursday 23 August 2018) provides more detail on the Horizon 2020 underwrite guarantee, the recent extension to the guarantee and how the government plans to continue to support research and innovation in the UK.

It is aimed at UK organisations, such as universities and businesses, who are in receipt of Horizon 2020 funding or who are bidding for such funding. It will also be of interest to partner organisations who work with UK participants on Horizon 2020 projects.

The UK and EU’s intention is that the eligibility of UK researchers and businesses to participate in Horizon 2020 will remain unchanged for the remaining duration of the programme. This is set out in the Financial Provisions of the draft Withdrawal Agreement, which has been agreed by both UK and Commission negotiators and welcomed by the other 27 EU countries at March European Council.

However, the government states that as a responsible government it needs to plan for every eventuality to ensure that cross-border collaboration in science and innovation can continue after EU exit.

The government has released details today of how the underwrite guarantee would be managed should it have to come into effect in the future. Full details can be found in the government’s Q and A (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-participation-in-horizon-2020-uk-government-overview).

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has been chosen to manage the underwrite delivery. In the first instance UK recipients of Horizon 2020 funding will be invited by UKRI to register their details on a dedicated portal on the GOV.uk website expected to go live in the autumn.

The portal is designed to ensure that UKRI has initial information about projects and participants in order to keep researchers and businesses informed of the next steps regarding the implementation of underwrite payments, should they be required.

All data will be held in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations.

The portal will remain open after the UK leaves the EU so that UK applicants can continue to register as and when they are informed that their bid has been successful.

Details of next steps will be given in due course.


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