On Thursday 7 September, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited the University of Warwick, announcing the UK would return to the EU’s flagship research scheme Horizon.
This decision means that British scientists can receive funding from and cooperate with other European institutions as part of the cross-European research initiative. The UK’s scientific community has broadly expressed support for the move.
Regarding the decision to rejoin Horizon, Sunak stressed: “Our priority and preference is to associate to Horizon but we want to make sure that that is on terms that are right both for the British taxpayer and for British science and research.”
During his visit, Sunak toured Warwick’s International Manufacturing Centre after having a private conversation with four university leaders.
We … welcomed the opportunity to showcase some of the cutting-edge technology and innovation we have here at Warwick
– Professor Emma Flynn
Professor Emma Flynn, the University’s Provost and the person who gave the tour, said: “We were delighted to host the Prime Minister today and welcomed the opportunity to showcase some of the cutting-edge technology and innovation we have here at Warwick.”
She also said that rejoining Horizon is “fantastic news” because it encourages collaboration between scientists and helps people solve current environmental, economic, and social problems.
On social media, many students denounced the University’s decision to host Sunak, with others criticising the fact that he did not visit during term time.
Alongside the decision to rejoin Horizon, the UK will also join Copernicus – the European Earth Observation programme – which allows the British earth observation sector to access valuable data and bid for contracts.
However, it will not rejoin Euratom, the EU’s nuclear research programme.