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Horizon 2020 Q&A

What has changed since EU Exit?

  • The vast majority of Horizon 2020 projects will be able to continue as before during the transition period and beyond. This includes ERC, MSCA, and the EIC Accelerator grant element. Note that:
    • The Withdrawal Agreement means that the UK can continue to participate in EU programmes, including Horizon 2020, that are financed by the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until their closure (i.e. for the lifetime of grants)
    • A very limited number of UK entities could be restricted from participating in some specific project elements if security concerns exist. We expect the European Commission to indicate where this is the case
    • Horizon 2020 applicants also have the option of seeking non-grant finance (e.g. equity or loans) under some programmes. Where non-grant financing arrangements have already been approved by the European Commission (or other relevant bodies including the EIB and the EIF) before 1 February 2020, such arrangements will continue as agreed
    • While UK SMEs can continue to apply for the grant-only funding route for EIC Accelerator projects, access to new blended finance (i.e. equity alongside grant) is no longer possible. UK organisations will also not be able to bid for the ‘InnovFin’ product range, which consists of a suite of tailored financial instruments

What does the Transition period mean for Horizon 2020?

  • UK participants will continue to receive EU grant funding for the lifetime of individual Horizon 2020 projects, including projects finishing after the transition period ends at the end of 2020

Can new bids be submitted for Horizon 2020 calls?

  • Yes, UK scientists, researchers and businesses can continue to participate in and lead Horizon 2020 projects and apply for Horizon 2020 grant funding
  • This includes any Horizon 2020 calls under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) even if they extend into 2021, after the transition period has ended UK SMEs can continue to apply for the grant-only funding route for EIC Accelerator projects, but access to new blended finance (i.e. equity alongside grant) is no longer possible. UK organisations are also unable to bid for the product range, which consists of a suite of tailored financial instruments

Are Horizon 2020 calls that continue into 2021 affected by EU Exit?

  • The Withdrawal Agreement means that the UK can continue to participate in EU programmes, including Horizon 2020, that are financed by the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until their closure (i.e. for the lifetime of grants)
  • This means that UK organisations can continue to bid into calls for new Horizon 2020 grant funding for the lifetime of the Horizon 2020 programme. This includes any Horizon 2020 calls funded under the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) that may extend into 2021, after the transition period has ended
  • A very limited number of UK entities could be restricted from participating in some specific project elements if security concerns exist. We expect the European Commission to indicate where this is the case

Are Horizon 2020 project coordinators impacted by EU Exit?

  • There is no change to the role of project coordinator as a result of EU Exit for the lifetime of projects funded by H2020. This means that the financial arrangements will continue as they are set out in your grant agreement
  • UK researchers can also continue to be coordinators for new proposals until the end of the Horizon 2020 programme. If the proposal is successful, the UK partner will remain the coordinator until the end of the project, even if the project finishes after the transition period ends at the end of 2020

Can organisations in the EU continue to link with UK partners?

  • Yes, the UK can continue to participate in and lead Horizon 2020 projects and apply for Horizon 2020 grant funding as before

Where can I find more information on UK participation in EU funded programmes?

Does EU Exit change the way we apply for MSCA and ERC calls?

  • The UK can continue to participate in and lead Horizon 2020 projects and apply for Horizon 2020 grant funding as before. This includes MSCA and ERC funding proposals
  • Please contact your National Contact Point (NCP) for more information about the application process

MSCA - mariecurie-uk@bbsrc.ac.uk

ERC - erc-uk@bbsrc.ac.uk

Are there any changes for UK-based universities now that the UK has left the EU?

  • Until the end of the current Horizon 2020 programme, UK Universities can continue to participate in, coordinate and lead Horizon 2020 projects and apply for Horizon 2020 grant funding as they do now

What happens to those SMEs who can now only access the grant element of the EIC Accelerator programme?

  • The Withdrawal Agreement means the UK will not be standing behind EU contingent liabilities generated after exit. Because of this, the UK will not benefit from financial operations after exit which give rise to a contingent liability
  • This means that whilst UK small businesses remain eligible to apply for grant funding through the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator, they no longer qualify for equity alongside their grant
  • Innovate UK will facilitate finding potential investors to support UK businesses that are successful in securing EIC grant funding in the future

Can I move my grant to the UK?

  • Grant holders who want to move to the UK with their grant after 31 December 2020, should still be allowed to do so under the Horizon 2020 rules
  • Grant holders in the UK under the current Horizon 2020 programme will continue to receive their funding from the European Commission until the end of their grant

Are there changes for researchers who want to move to the UK BEFORE 31 December 2020?

  • EEA and Swiss citizens can move freely to the UK before 31 December 2020. All EEA and Swiss citizens, including researchers, who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021

Are there changes for researchers who want to move to the UK AFTER 31 December 2020?

  • On 31 December Freedom of Movement will end, and EEA and Swiss citizens wanting to move to the UK should apply for a visa under the new immigration system
    The UK government recently launched the Global Talent Visa, a new fast-track visa system to attract the world’s top scientists, researchers, mathematicians, and their teams to the UK. EU citizens will be eligible to apply for this route from January 2021. The bespoke route will have no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK, demonstrating the government’s commitment to supporting top talent. More information can be found at:
  • From 1 January 2021, non-UK researchers with a job offer from an approved sponsor will also be able to apply for a visa under the new Points Based System. The government will give top priority to those with the highest skills and greatest talents – including scientists, researchers and academics. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-policy-statement/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-policy-statement

What has happened to the No Deal Guarantee?

  • As the UK left with a Deal, the No Deal Guarantee is no longer required. The UK government’s No Deal Funding Guarantee was a commitment to fund UK participation in Horizon 2020 if the UK left the EU at the end of January without a deal

What is the security-related guarantee?

  • A very limited number of UK entities could be restricted from participating in some specific project elements if security concerns exist. 
  • We expect the European Commission (EC) to inform participants directly where this is the case
  • Grants terminated by the EC on security-related grounds will be eligible to enter BEIS and UKRI’s ‘Continuation Process’. This process provides funding for the UK beneficiaries to continue research independently from Horizon 2020 where feasible. If the project cannot continue there is provision for UK beneficiaries to be reimbursed for their committed costs. In either case, the value of funding UK beneficiaries can receive will be capped at the remaining value of their original Horizon 2020 grant award. Any affected UK grant holders should contact UKRI at EUgrants@ukri.gov.uk

Useful links and further information