The Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP, has written to Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, to assure the Academy of the government’s commitment to underwrite funding awarded under the Horizon 2020 programme. In response to the letter, Dame Ann said:

“We welcome the government’s commitment to fully fund Horizon 2020 projects beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. The Minister is absolutely correct that collaboration with our international partners is vital for the UK to continue to be a powerhouse for research and innovation. Collaboration gives UK researchers and businesses access to a broader range of knowledge, people and facilities than could be obtained in the UK alone. The guarantee that funding under Horizon 2020 remains business-as-usual, including awards from the European Research Council, is a helpful step towards ensuring that our excellent researchers and innovative companies have the confidence to continue to innovate, collaborate, and bid for these important funds.”

Further details of the government funding commitments are outlined in a letter from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The letter addresses a key concern outlined in a joint Academies statement on research and innovation after the EU referendum.

Research and innovation are key areas of focus within the European Union project being led by the Royal Academy of Engineering on behalf of Engineering the Future, the alliance of the 38 organisations representing the engineering profession. The project intends to provide evidence-based advice to government to help secure the best possible outcome for the UK and for UK engineering during the EU negotiations. 

Notes for editors

  1. Royal Academy of Engineering. As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

    We have four strategic challenges:
    - Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
    - Address the engineering skills crisis
    - Position engineering at the heart of society
    - Lead the profession

  2. The engineering profession’s response to the EU referendum is being coordinated through the Engineering the Future (EtF) group. EtF is an alliance of the professional engineering institutions and national organisations that between them represent 450,000 professional engineers. Through EtF, the engineering profession speaks with one voice on engineering issues of national and international importance. It provides independent – and expert – engineering advice to government. It promotes understanding of the critical contribution that engineering makes to national policy and to addressing the grand challenges facing society.

    EtF membership comprises the UK’s 35 engineering institutions plus EngineeringUK, the Engineering Council and the Royal Academy of Engineering.