Scottish government announces £3m fund to ‘repair’ post-Brexit EU research links

The Saltire Research Awards, provided by the Scottish Funding Council and Royal Society of Edinburgh, is open to projects across the research spectrum

The Scottish government has announced a £3 million package aimed at “repairing research links with the EU”, which it hopes will support hundreds of European research and innovation projects with Scottish institutions.

The fund, provided by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and Royal Society of Edinburgh, is open to projects across the research spectrum. Researchers in Europe and Scotland can now bid for funds from the Saltire Research Awards.

The Scottish administration said the nation had won the equivalent of £650 million in funds from Horizon 2020, the predecessor to the current Horizon Europe programme, between 2014 and 2020, making it one of the largest per-capita recipients in the 28-member bloc.

The Horizon Europe seven-year programme is worth around €95.5 billion. The UK is participating and will contribute £1.2 billion in 2021-22.

The funding announced today will help keep […] research partnerships going and enable us to attract top international research talent
– Karen Watt, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council

Higher and further education minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Many of our most effective collaborations are with partners in Europe and our new £3 million fund will help Scotland reinvigorate and repair vital research partnerships with Europe following the uncertainty caused by Brexit in recent years. This is crucial especially for our successful participation in Horizon Europe.

“Research collaboration has been crucial during the pandemic and will continue to be critical in addressing the net-zero transition and other global challenges. Scotland’s future continues to firmly include European research collaboration and now is the time to help our researchers grow these important partnerships.”

Karen Watt, chief executive of the SFC, said: “Collaboration with European institutions has been vital for Scotland’s world-leading status in university research and their success in winning European research grants and contracts.

“The funding announced today will help keep those research partnerships going and enable us to attract top international research talent.

“We very much welcome this funding and look forward to the impact it will have across the sector.”


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