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UK Faces Significant EU Funding Bill

Posted by Richard Ward

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The UK government is expected to incur a £137 million bill from Cambridge University, after it promised to underwrite EU funding already committed to research projects.

Figures released from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have revealed the amount of funding awarded to universities, research groups and businesses through the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme.

In August this year, chancellor Philip Hammond, announced the Government would underwrite all payments agreed under the scheme, which runs from 2014-2020

The European Commission has announced a total of £2.21 billion in grants, of which £1.4 billion have been awarded to education bodies such as universities.

Those universities included in the scheme include Cambridge, University College London and the University of Oxford. Cambridge received the most in funding at £137m, with UCL and Oxford receiving £122m and £114m respectively.

The total amount underwritten by the Government is expected to increase further, with the Treasury promising to underwrite funding of all awards made under the project while the UK is still a member of the EU. This funding will also apply even when specific projects continue after the UK leaves the European Union.

Funding for projects is provided for a variety of project types, including new technologies, tackling the challenges of climate change or food security, and space exploration.

Those that apply for Horizon 2020 grants must be part of a consortium, which usually consists of at least three organisational bodies from different countries.