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Horizon 2020 government's guarantee and extension

UKRI has been appointed to manage the UK government’s guarantee and extension to the guarantee for Horizon 2020.

Background to the guarantee and the extension to the guarantee

HMG guarantee

In August 2016, the UK government guaranteed that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal it will underwrite funding for all successful UK Horizon 2020 bids submitted by UK participants before the UK exits the EU; this would apply for the full duration of projects, even if applicants are notified of success after exit. This original guarantee includes European Research Council (ERC) grants, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and the SME instrument (SMEi).

For the latest government information about the guarantee please see:


HMG guarantee extension

In an extension to the guarantee, in August 2018 the UK government committed to fund all successful UK Horizon 2020 bids where UK organisations are able to participate as a third country. This extension runs from exit day until the end of 2020 with funding guaranteed for the lifetime of the projects.

Third country participation does not extend to some Horizon 2020 calls; these include the majority of European Research Council (ERC) grants, some Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and the SME instrument.

The government has worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders on no deal planning for the Horizon 2020 programme.

The immediate risk of leaving the EU without a deal has been averted and the UK government remains focused on securing a deal that will ensure the UK’s smooth and orderly exit from the EU. Further advice on how you should prepare for EU exit will be provided as negotiations progress.

UKRI preparation for the guarantee

UKRI launched a portal in September 2018 to capture Horizon 2020 grant details. If you are a UK entity currently in receipt of EU funding for a Horizon 2020, Framework Programme 7 (FP7) or Research Funds for Coal and Steel (RFCS) grant, you need to register on this portal in order to receive updates from UKRI.

If you have not yet registered on UKRI’s portal, please do so here: https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/eu-grant/overview

UKRI will contact you again if the guarantee needs to come into effect and will keep your details on file in the meantime.  

Further background to Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the European Union's main research and innovation funding programme. It has been running since 2014 and runs until the end of 2020. Its total budget is €80 billion.

Delivering great benefits, both from the UK perspective and for our European colleagues, Horizon 2020 is a major source of science and innovation funding for the UK.

The UK is currently a top five collaboration partner for each of the other 27 European Union Member States with over 38,000 collaborative links, including the country’s top five partners: Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands.

How it works

UK organisations submit bids to Horizon 2020, either as sole participants or as members of a cross-border consortia, and if successful they receive funding directly from the European Commission.

Horizon 2020 contains a number of different funding programmes and mechanisms and is mainly structured around three pillars. There are opportunities to apply for funding under each of these pillars:

  • Excellent Science
  • Industrial Leadership
  • Societal Challenges.

For more information see the European Commission website: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en

Please see here for background information on Horizon 2020.