Will Australia and the UK work together for EU funding?

Australia and UK sign deal
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A group of Australian universities have proposed a joint bid with the UK for research funding from the European Union.

In order to access the Horizon Europe funding Australian universities have sent a letter proposing a joint application. The letter was sent to the University Minister for the UK, Jo Johnson, whose predecessor, Chris Skidmore, processed and accepted a previous bid for a similar program.

Horizon Europe, is a new initiative that is designed to progress and support university research and innovation. Horizon Europe is set to make €100bn available to researchers.

Unfortunately, due to Brexit, funding may become increasingly more difficult for the UK to access.

Horizon 2020 was similar policy ran out of the EU. It offered €80bn for universities to use for research an innovation.

Horizon 2020 was previous accessed by Australia and the UK in a joint bid for funding with the UK securing €5.5bn in funding.

The previous University Minister for the UK, Chris Skidmore, approved the application from Australian universities as he believed it would strengthen negotiations.

Skidmore said: “should argue with the other associate members for a new form of association…(and) make a big, bold offer to commission on this issue.”

Formal director of the Australian university group, Go8, Viki Thomson, said

“not just about access to a pot of funds. There’s a strategic imperative in being at the table of research collaborators, wherever they are…This would give us direct access for the first time to research and research funding in the European context. It would diversify our research collaboration.”

There has been much speculation as to whether the Horizon Europe funding will be made available to non-EU associate countries. Due to there being precedent of the funding being shared with Australia, it is expected to be given to these associate countries.

There are currently 16 countries holding the associate member status, one of which being Australia.

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