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EU Exit UKRI Q&A

This Q&A provides more information about how UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will deliver the government’s funding commitments for Horizon 2020, Research Fund for Coal and Steel and Euratom R&T in the event of a no deal Exit from the European Union (EU). If you have any further questions that are not covered here please email:  EUGrantsFunding@ukri.org

UKRI is holding a series of webinars to update the research and innovation community as the UK moves towards EU exit. To sign up, please email: EUGrantsFunding@ukri.org

Preparing for EU Exit

What actions do I need to take to prepare for EU Exit?

If you already hold a Horizon 2020, Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) or Euratom R&T grant or have submitted a bid to any of these programmes, please find information for the actions you need to take on the ‘Preparing for EU Exit’ page.

I’ve submitted a bid to Horizon 2020 call that is not open to third country participation and don’t expect to be notified of the outcome by the European Commission until after Exit. What should I do?

UKRI will manage the independent assessment of relevant UK bids to mono-beneficiary ERC, MSCA and EIC Accelerator calls (previously knowns as the SME Instrument) Horizon 2020 calls submitted before Brexit if they are not assessed by the European Commission. Government funding will be made available to support successful projects for their lifetime. Further information on this ‘in flight’ assessment of bids will be available on the UKRI website by 31 October.  

I receive funding through an EU-funded programme not listed above; what should I do?

A full list of EU-funded programmes covered by the guarantee is covered in this HM Treasury notice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-governments-guarantee-for-eu-funded-programmes-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/the-governments-guarantee-for-eu-funded-programmes-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

Accessing guarantee funding

How will I know when I need to upload my documents to UKRI systems?

Please visit the Preparing for EU Exit page for guidance on the documents that you will need to upload to UKRI systems in order to receive guarantee funding.

UKRI will invite you to upload your documents (‘onboard your grant’) after Exit if the guarantee is required. You will be invited to commence onboarding based on when your next payment from the European Commission is due. Further guidance explaining when you need to submit your documents will be available by 1 November

How will I upload my documents (onboard my grant) to UKRI systems?

Once UKRI has advised you to onboard your grant, you will need to submit your documents through a UKRI call that has been specifically set up for guarantee recipients. Please be assured that there will be no further assessment of your project at this stage.

What systems will UKRI use to deliver the guarantee? 

UKRI will use its existing grant payment systems IFS (Innovation Funding Service) and Je-S to deliver guarantee funding if it is required. Current domestic grant holders will know these systems and support will be provided for those who are not familiar with them. 

What schedule will guarantee payments follow?

Guarantee payments will be made in pounds sterling (£). UKRI is using its existing payment processes. Payments through Je-S will happen quarterly and payments through IFS will be made on a claims basis in line with UKRI’s business as usual processes for its domestic grants.

This payment schedule is different from Horizon 2020 and if you have any questions please email EUGrantsFunding@ukri.org

Will UK beneficiaries be required to sign a new grant agreement with UKRI? 

UK beneficiaries will be required to sign a contract with UKRI to access funding. If you are asked to sign a new grant agreement with the European Commission in the meantime you should proceed.

Should I terminate my European Commission Grant Agreement?

You must not terminate your EC Grant Agreement and should continue to comply with your obligations to the EU and continue with the EU processes.

Payment Process 

What happens if there is a gap between my scheduled funding date from the European Commission and when I receive payment from UKRI?

UKRI is working to minimise any gaps, but they could occur if we are in a scenario where the EU’s intentions are unclear. This is because we would only step in with the guarantee payments after the EU does not make a payment due under the grant agreement for a reason relating to EU Exit. This could create a gap. If your organisation is concerned that it does not have the cashflow to sustain the planned research or innovation, please contact UKRI: EUGrantsFunding@ukri.org

How will UKRI convert my euro grant award into my notional GBP grant value?

To convert your euro grant value into a notional GBP value, UKRI will use an exchange rate which is calculated using the average daily European Central Bank (ECB) EUR to GBP rate over a period relevant to your grant. More detailed information will follow.

There will be a conversion tool on the UKRI website to enable you to calculate the notional GBP value for your grant. You will need to provide this notional value when you submit your grant to UKRI systems.

How will the euro value of my grant be monitored?

As part of the submission process you will be asked to convert your euro grant value into GBP using the conversion tool that UKRI will make available on the UKRI website.

Once you have submitted your project, UKRI will monitor the value of your grant on your behalf. UKRI will reconcile your spend back to euros in line with your grant’s EU reporting periods. Your claim will be converted into euros using similar exchange rate methodology as outlined in your EU grant agreement.

Is my project going to lose out financially as a result of the exchange rate?

The Government’s intention is that the full euro value of your grant will be honoured.

The exchange rate approach that UKRI will apply will ensure that grant holders will continue to hold the risks and rewards of currency fluctuations in the same way as they do now.