UK participation in Horizon Europe: An Update

The UK has agreed to Associate to Horizon Europe:-

  • EC has published Q&A on UK association (updated on 22nd Dec 2021) that states “Once the Associated Country status is in force, UK participants will have the same rights as EU participants, with the very limited aforementioned exceptions. UK entities will be eligible for funding at the same rates and under the same conditions. They will be able to lead project consortia. They will also count towards the minimum number of countries in calls for transnational projects.”
  • The UK stands ready to formalise our association at the earliest opportunity according to the terms agreed under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in December 2020.
  • It is win-win for the UK and other members of Horizon Europe.

A Youtube video is available to view.

Current Status of UK Association to Horizon Europe

There have been persistent delays from the EU which means the UK has not yet associated to Horizon Europe.

The UK government’s preference is still association. But the UK cannot wait indefinitely and is preparing for all scenarios.

The most recent guidance issued by the European Commission on 17th Dec confirmed, whilst the UK is awaiting formal association, it should be treated as an Associated Country.

However, this is only to the point of grant signature. Lots of UK applicants have got to this point or will do soon. To provide certainty to the UK research and development sectors, the UK government has introduced and extended the financial guarantee.

UK Horizon Europe guarantee:-

  • On29 November 2021 the UK Government announced a guarantee for those who have successfullybid for Horizon Europe funded activities in the first wave of calls, but who are unable to sign grantagreements with the EU due to the fact we have not yet associated to the programme. The scope ofthe guarantee has recently been expanded to cover the second wave of calls.
  • The funding is being delivered through UKRI. We have now opened funding routes to deliver mostelements of the first wave of the funding guarantee:
  • EIT KICs (2021), EIC Pathfinder and Transition 2021 calls all opened on 21Feb 22 on the InnovationFunding Service (IFS).
  • The ERC Starting Grants call opened on17 Mar 22 on Je-S.
  • Further details and guidance may be viewed.

Details of the UK guarantee:-

  • Since applications will have been evaluated through the European Commission’s peer review processes no further application quality assessment will be undertaken by UKRI.
  • Both for mono-beneficiary and multi-beneficiary grants, this funding will be provided for the lifetime of the grant, subject to UKRI terms and conditions.
  • Funding routes for calls covered in the second wave will open from May.
  • For most of the EU calls in scope the funding will be delivered via IFS, and the online form will feature a drop-down menu for awardees to select the call they have been successful in.
  • For ERC and MSCA calls the funding will be delivered through Je-S, and calls will be opened for each grant type individually. Detailed information on timings will be made available in due course.


Scott Govan
Industrial Innovation
SME Innovation
Frontier Research
Researcher Exchange
Researcher Exchanges
Research & Innovation