UK rejoins Horizon Europe and Copernicus programmes  

The United Kingdom and the European Commission (EC) have reached an agreement on the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe (EU’s research and innovation) programme and Copernicus (EU’s Earth observation) programme. This is in line with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.  

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation. The new arrangement will enable UK researchers and organisations to participate in this programme on par with their counterparts in EU Member States including in access to funding. Researchers from UK can now apply for Horizon Europe funding.  

Collaborative research is vital for growth and progress and benefit science. UK companies and research institutions will now be able to engage in collaborative research not only with the EU, but also Norway, New Zealand and Israel which are part of the programme – and countries like Korea and Canada which may join soon. In return, UK will make an annual contribution of €2.6 billion to the Horizon Europe programme which has a budget of €95.5 billion.  

The new deal also allows UK’s participation in EU’s Copernicus Earth Observation programme including access to valuable Earth Observation (EO) which plays crucial role in public services such as early flood and fire warnings. The UK will also benefit from the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking.  

On related note, the UK has chosen to pursue a domestic fusion energy strategy instead of participating in the EU’s fusion energy Euratom programme. 



  1. UK Government. Press release-UK joins Horizon Europe under a new bespoke deal. Published 7 September 2023. Available at Accessed on 12 September 2023.  
  1. European Commission. Press release- EU-UK relations: Commission and UK reach political agreement on UK participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus. Published 7 September 2023. Available at Accessed on 12 September 2023. 
  1. UKRI. Horizon Europe: help for UK applicants. Updated 12 September 2023. Available at Accessed on 12 September 2023. 
  1. European Commission. Research and innovation – Horizon Europe. Available at Accessed on 12 September 2023. 
  1. European Commission. Defence Industry and Space – Copernicus. Available at Accessed on 12 September 2023. 


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