Funding received from the EU supports a wide range of businesses across many sectors. The Horizon 2020 programme alone has provided UK organisations with over €5,101 million of funding. Loss of this funding could impact how businesses develop and deliver new products and services into the future. But firms can take steps to consider this in their financial planning for the future, and may need to take action to ensure payment flows if no deal happens.
Key challenges for business
How will EU funding be impacted after no deal?
The UK government will guarantee funding for UK partners of most competitively bid for EU projects that are agreed before the UK leaves the EU. The funding guarantee would apply for the lifetime of projects. Where a UK organisation is the lead member of a partnership under an EU grant programme any funding it distributes to non-UK organisations is not covered by the guarantee.
Bids for mono-beneficiary grant funding calls that are still in the approval process at the time of the UK’s exit from the EU will be reviewed by the UK government, and funding will be provided to successful applicants.
Will UK businesses be able to continue apply to EU grant programmes?
In the event of a no deal, UK applicants will be able to continue to apply to, and participate in, competitive EU grant programmes that are open to third country participants until the end of 2020. The terms of third-country participation are different to those now and the roles and scope of projects the UK can be involved in will be more limited.
But, in the case of a no deal Brexit, organisations will no longer receive future funding from the EU for projects under a number of EU programmes that are only open to EU member states, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds.
Will UK businesses be able to participate in future EU research and innovation programmes?
The UK government has signalled that it would like to participate in the next EU framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe. However, the ability of the UK to associate with the programme remains subject to the outcomes of ongoing negotiations.
Key questions for business to consider
If you currently receive funding from the EU or are in the process of bidding for funding, it is important to consider the following:
- How much funding do you receive directly from the EU?
- How much funding do you receive indirectly from the EU, distributed by other organisations than your own such as local authorities or Universities that you work with?
- Have you checked the government’s guidance for your specific funding programme, including whether your funding programme is covered by the UK government’s guarantee?
- Have you registered details of your current grants on gov.uk?
- Have you looked into alternative funding schemes that you can access, and considered the skills you will need to access them?
Want the highlights? View our webcast
Preparing for no deal: the changes when accessing funding from the EU
Other resources to help you plan
Familiarise yourself with the guidance for the funding your business has applied for. You can read the government’s guidance on the EU funding guarantee here.
Sign up for updates related to funding of guidance your business has applied for or would consider applying for. Specific guidance is available for most funds including rural development funding, Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps, Horizon 2020, UK LIFE projects, Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens, Connecting Europe Facility in Telecoms, European Social Funding, and European Regional Development funding.
If you are a recipient of EU Direct Bid funds, your business will need to give details about projects that are eligible under the UK government’s guarantee. Read the government’s guarantee before submitting.
Current UK recipients of Horizon 2020 funding should read the government’s Horizon 2020 Q&A.
UK Research & Innovation will deliver the underwrite of Horizon 2020 grants. To facilitate this, organisations with a live grant should register details on the gov.uk portal.
Universities UK has a no deal hub with further information on EU funding in no deal for higher education institutions.
The British Film Institute has a Brexit info webpage with further information on CreativeEurope funding.
How are other businesses preparing?
— Technology institution
"We’ve been one of the most successful business in the UK to get funding from the EU, with a win rate of 20%. We have been involved in the HorizonEurope pilots and have found the system better and less time consuming than others. In recent months, we have seen fewer invitations to bid and have been told off the record that it’s not good to have a UK co as the lead. We have been focusing more on opportunities for funding from Innovate UK to try to plug the decrease in Horizon2020 money – though of course there is competition for this money too and doesn’t come with the same international collaboration benefits that the European programmes do."
“Our organisation has relied heavily on sources of EU funding and collaboration through research institutions. After the referendum, we made a conscious decision to differentiate away from Europe and invest more heavily in our campus in Asia rather than in partnerships in Europe. It’s helped to balance the books, attracting more foreign students from Asia, but does come with a host of other complications with visas of academics, complex intellectual property rules and big regulatory differences. There’s no answer without difficulties, but we don’t regret making the decision to diversify the risk back in 2017.”