UK finally ditches EU shackles and opens for global business with new 3-point masterplan
“There is an opportunity post-Brexit for us to unlock a much stronger global commitment as a science superpower and innovation nation to tackle global challenges.”
By Jacob Paul
13:17, Wed, Jan 11, 2023 | UPDATED: 14:00, Wed, Jan 11, 2023
Lord Frost gives update on UK’s participation in Horizon Europe
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Science Minister George Freeman has announced that the UK will go full steam ahead with an alternative to the EU’s £80billion flagship innovation project if the bloc continues to block Britain from the scheme. During his keynote speech at UK Onward, Mr Freeman laid out his strategy to make the UK a “science superpower” in the post-Brexit era. But he warned that to do so, we cannot “allow UK research to be benched, spectating the incredibly exciting period in science and research”.
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It comes after the EU blocked Britain from Horizon Europe, the leading international programme that provides prestigious grants and facilitates collaboration with European partners on crucial research projects on anything from quantum mechanics to AI.
This is despite Horizon being included as part of the 2020 Trade and Cooperation Agreement following Britain’s departure from the bloc. While Mr Freeman said the UK will still give the bloc an opportunity to let it back into the scheme, he warned the bloc that Britain will now begin unleashing its global masterplan as a backup. It comes after more than two years of being blocked by Europe.
The Science Minister announced during his keynote speech: “There is an opportunity post-Brexit for us to unlock a much stronger global commitment as a science superpower and innovation nation to tackle global challenges.”
He later added: “We cannot allow great UK scientists and researchers to be benched, spectating on this incredibly exciting period in science and research. If we can’t play in the European Cup of science, we will simply have to go and play in the World Cup.
The Science Minister publicly announced his plan for the UK to ‘play in the World Cup of science’ (Image: Getty )
The EU told Britain it cannot take part in Horizon Europe (Image: Getty )
“We determined to make sure we have a much bolder offer in terms of global fellowship…we are looking at innovation and industrial technologies…and opportunities to deploy UK technologically much more strategically.
“Thirdly, a big global pillar, looking at how we can strengthen bilateral R+D (research and development) economies and opportunities for potential global collaborative multilateral projects around urgent challenges.”
Mr Freeman noted how he recently visited Japan, where he announced a £119million International Science Partnerships Fund to support UK researchers collaborating with scientists in Japan and around the world.
He also mentioned his visits to Israel and Switzerland to explore depending collaboration with these science powerhouses too. Now, he has suggested that even more deals are to follow.
Express.co.uk understands that a deal with the US is next on Mr Freeman’s agenda and Andrew Craig, Investment Manager for Conviction Life Science, says it is definitely achievable.