Hall: New opportunities for UK universities and businesses as £12.5bn EU research funding announced

The European Commission has announced that from today, universities and businesses across the UK can apply for £12.5 billion worth of European funding under the first of two years of the EU’s latest research programme.  The new EU framework, Horizon 2020, will be the world’s largest research programme with an overall budget of over £65 billion over the next seven years. Areas due to be prioritised in 2014 and 2015 include energy efficiency, digital security and healthcare.

UK universities have been particularly successful at accessing funding under the current framework, receiving more than higher education institutions in any other EU member state. In total, the UK has received almost £4 billion of EU research funding since 2007.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat MEPs Fiona Hall commented:

“EU research funding brings huge benefits to the UK economy, helping to drive innovation and create jobs in some of our most cutting-edge sectors. Every £1 of EU research spending leads to an estimated £11 of added value to industry.

“It is essential that universities and companies are made aware of the funding opportunities available to them so the UK can continue to lead in this area.

“Small businesses in particular stand to benefit from a new separate £2.2 billion funding line pushed for by the Liberal Democrats, as well as simpler rules for funding applications.”

Notes to editors

For more details on today’s announcement see the European Commission press release here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1232_en.htm

The twelve areas identified as priorities for 2014-2020 can be found here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-1122_en.htm

The current EU research program (FP7) has provided over £3.8 billion in research grants to British scientists and innovators over the last five years, equal to nearly 10% of the UK’s national science budget.

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