The UK’s business community has benefited greatly from working with their EU counterparts on science and innovation projects. EU businesses and universities see the UK as an integral part of their own innovation ecosystems and are keen this continues.
But the UK’s vote to leave the EU has thrown into doubt the UK’s future role and relationship with the EU’s innovation base. CBI members tell us this uncertainty is affecting innovation investment decisions. The government needs to secure the strong links that will drive investment and collaboration. This will reassure businesses and show the UK maintaining a leading role in the global science and innovation community. The alternative to deep UK participation would be huge, unnecessary investment. The UK would need to duplicate EU assets while the EU duplicates UK assets.
What you need to know:
- EU innovation matters to UK business as well as the science base. Engagement with the EU’s framework programmes (FPs) benefits UK business. Long-term funding, collaborative opportunities and the ability to influence regulations are all valued by enterprises of all sizes. CBI members want these links to remain after the UK leaves the EU.
- Uncertainty over access to future funding is affecting UK investment in innovation. Long term business R&D investment is the foundation for the UK’s future economy. The uncertainty about future engagement in the FPs is now causing businesses to reconsider R&D investment, or move it to other countries. This will set back prosperity and regional growth.
- To nip this uncertainty in the bud, government should state the intention to achieve an enhanced associate status for the UK in the Ninth EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9). Achieving enhanced associate status will mean making a financial commitment to FP9. This will provide the reassurance that business needs to invest and highlight to the EU our commitment to FP9.
- As an associate country, the UK can provide a more global outlook for FP9. The UK’s reputation as a world leader in science and research can create a new dynamic for associated countries in the EU framework system. The UK can help the Commission meet its goal of making FP9
more open to the world.