Horizon 2020 Programme

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th November 2017.

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Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Labour, Edinburgh South 12:00 am, 7th November 2017

What steps he has taken to ensure that the UK participates in the Horizon 2020 programme for the duration of that programme.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

The Government have acted quickly to underwrite Horizon 2020 funding that is competitively bid for by UK participants. As we set out in our future partnership paper, “Collaboration on Science and Innovation”, we will seek an agreement on science and innovation that protects us now and in the future, and continues to ensure we deliver these great partnerships.

Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Labour, Edinburgh South

Edinburgh is blessed with three world-class universities, Napier, Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh, which punch significantly above their weight in being able to gain EU funding for research and development. Will the Minister come to the Dispatch Box to reassure those universities that they will still be able to access research and development funding at European Union level when we leave the EU?

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

As I said, we are working towards an agreement that will ensure our continued success in European science and research collaborations. Scottish institutions do indeed do exceptionally well. They punch well above their weight in winning about 11% of the share of UK participation in Horizon 2020, which is well above their GDP and population share. We want that to continue.

Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Affairs and Europe)

The Minister is right to highlight that Scottish universities are world-beating. In my constituency, the University of St Andrews receives £38 million of research funding that relies on our partnerships with the European Union and European institutions. What reassurances can he provide about plans post-2020, so that those partnerships will be able to continue?

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

As I just said, we are working hard to ensure an agreement with the rest of the European Union to ensure we can continue to collaborate closely in important areas of research and innovation. As I have just said, Scottish institutions do well in terms of their share of overall UK participation in Horizon 2020. We want that kind of success to continue in the years ahead. Very impactful research is done in Scotland on a collaborative basis across the continent. We have every intention of that continuing in the years ahead.