Businesses encouraged to apply for multi-billion pound EU funding scheme

3 min read

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is urging businesses and researchers to apply for access to new markets, capabilities and technologies as well as billions of pounds of funding through the Horizon Europe scheme.

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion. It funds ground-breaking research and innovation in many areas including medical science and cancer treatment, adaptation to climate change, ocean health and agriculture. It also enables businesses to access cross-border networks, supply chains and talent.

In addition, funding is available to all sectors through The European Innovation Council (EIC). The EIC supports the commercialisation of high-risk, high-impact technologies and will be fully implemented as part of Horizon Europe. It represents the most ambitious innovation initiative that Europe has taken, with a budget of €10 billion for the period 2021-2027.

Prospective UK funding recipients are eligible to participate in the first calls for proposals for Horizon Europe and can learn more about Horizon Europe by visiting the UK Research and Innovation website. To apply for most Horizon Europe funding, businesses must be part of a consortium. Usually, the consortium must be made up of a minimum of three organisations from different countries.

The UK National Contact Points for Horizon Europe, who are European Commission recognised experts, can provide free specialist advice and support to UK applicants. In addition, the UKRI-funded Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and Innovate UK EDGE can help with identifying potential partners and collaborators. Interested businesses can sign up for newsletters and webinars to hear about future opportunities to apply for funding as well as what is available now.

Jo Frost, UK National Contact Point Team advisor, said:

“Horizon Europe brings exciting new opportunities and new ways of working as researchers and innovators unite across Europe.

It’s a huge opportunity for UK businesses to renew and expand research and innovation connections in the EU and beyond, and to benefit from funding, cross-border networks, supply chains for new products and access to global talent.

The UK National Contact Point team is here to help you make the most of the many Horizon Europe opportunities.

We provide free personalised support and guidance and can help you find both funding and potential partners. So please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or are interested in learning more.”

Dr Ben Masheder, funding and finance manager at Innovate UK EDGE, said: “With approximately €95.5 billion available, Horizon Europe funding is an amazing opportunity for companies to secure grants from the European Commission to develop and take to market game-changing innovation.

"We work closely with companies interested in Horizon Europe grants by explaining processes, checking the eligibility and suitability of projects and connecting with National Contact Points where appropriate. We will constructively critique draft applications and in doing so help our clients save time, de-risk the opportunity and make sure that the applications have the best chance of success."

International, collaborative projects are welcomed under this scheme and Innovate UK EDGE can help you find suitable partners from across Europe. With our partner Enterprise Europe Network, we will guide you to open smart partnering platforms and brokerage events in order to find suitable collaborators amongst SMEs, academia, RTOs and government.

We have enjoyed considerable success for clients applying for Horizon Europe’s predecessor, Horizon 2020, and plan to do the same again for this programme.”

Horizon Europe’s predecessor, Horizon 2020, demonstrated the substantial benefits of participation for UK businesses. Examples of successful Horizon 2020 funding recipients include:

  • Cambridgeshire-based ANB Sensors received €1.1 million to support it in developing smart sensors to measure CO2 levels in water. “Winning the grant allowed us to expand our team from four to nine and secured the business for two more years,” said CEO and co-founder Nathan Lawrence.
  • London-based GyroGear received €1.85 million plus business support to develop wearable tech to help stabilise hand tremors in people suffering from conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
  • Sheffield-based liquid cooling innovator Iceotope, whose involvement in multiple Horizon 2020-funded projects has helped it grow from 20 to 49 employees in the past five years and cement itself as a key player on a global scale. Iceotope’s founder, Peter Hopton said: “The funding from Horizon 2020 enabled Iceotope to show what a liquid-cooled data centre could be, should the electronics be designed with liquid cooling in mind. The output is a compact and dense system, with reduction in supply chain costs and waste heat capture capabilities.”
  • Hybrid Air Vehicles in Bedfordshire received Horizon 2020 funding that supported its development of hybrid aircraft.