News

Strengthening links with Europe

Published: 08 Jun 2021 10:00

£3 million research fund announced.

Researchers based in Scotland and Europe can apply to a new £3 million scheme aimed at repairing research links with the EU following the damaging impact of Brexit. 

Hundreds of European research and innovation projects are expected to benefit from the Scottish Government’s Saltire Research Awards.

The fund, delivered via the Scottish Funding Council and Royal Society of Edinburgh, will be open to all research disciplines including arts, humanities and social sciences and multidisciplinary projects.

Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn said:

“Scotland’s excellence in research and innovation is one of our greatest assets and our international connections are vital to maintaining and extending this.

“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 Scottish Funding Council, 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.”

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, interim President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh said:

“Programmes such as the Saltire Research Awards play an important role in supporting research excellence and maintaining Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in research. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council to making the awards a success”.

Background

Horizon Europe is the EU’s flagship funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion.

It tackles climate change, helps to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and boosts the EU’s competitiveness and growth.

Scotland won around €755 million in Horizon 2020, the predecessor to Horizon Europe, over 2014-2020.  This made Scotland one of the most successful nations per head in the programme during this period.  This was the largest EU competitive programme funding share won by Scotland, well above any other EU competitive programme share.

The programme facilitates collaboration and strengthens the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting and implementing EU policies while tackling global challenges. It supports creating and better dispersing of excellent knowledge and technologies.