Press release

MillionPlus welcomes the government’s EU science and innovation – a future partnership paper

06 Sep 2017

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (6 September) welcomed the government’s science and innovation position paper, Collaboration on science and innovation – A future partnership.

The paper outlines the UK’s objectives for an agreement with the EU post-Brexit, including the aim to remain part of the Horizon 2020 programme and any successor scheme.

Professor Dave Phoenix, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University, said:

“The government’s proposed commitment to Horizon 2020 and its successor programmes is to be applauded. Currently the UK punches above its weight in winning EU research funding and is the leading country in terms of projects won from Horizon 2020. EU funding has been particularly important in modern universities because of the criteria adopted and the emphasis on collaboration.

“While this is a good start, further clarity will be required on the costs of maintaining access once the UK has left the EU and the extent to which the UK will have any influence over future funding priorities and decisions. In addition, the UK and the EU will have to reach agreement about the future role of the ECJ or an alternative disputes resolution mechanism.

“To mitigate our dependence on the EU, the government should also consider alternative ways of funding UK-wide research and research infrastructure in all universities. There can be no guarantee that future EU research and innovation funds will be allocated in the same way and the UK government must embed the funding of translational research, business engagement and innovation in a more dynamic funding system within the UK itself.”


Notes to editors

  1. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities. More information can be found at
  2. Modern universities: key facts 2017
  3. The MillionPlus Negotiating Brexit Policy Briefing is available here
  4. Collaboration on science and innovation: a future partnership paper is available here
  5. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email