Future Frameworks for International Collaboration on Research and Innovation

In June, the RSE hosted a discussion on Future Frameworks for International Collaboration on Research and Innovation. This enabled a multidisciplinary group of RSE Fellows to contribute to Sir Adrian Smith’s review of the design of UK funding schemes for international research collaboration, post-Brexit. The report summaries the key issues discussed. This includes the UK’s existing relationship with the EU for research and innovation, and the opportunities and challenges associated with developing credible alternatives to EU funded programmes. Participants also considered the key components of any future new UK structure for supporting international research partnerships.

Paper summary

The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy, hosted a discussion on Future Frameworks for International Collaboration on Research and Innovation on 3rd June 2019. The RSE was pleased to have the opportunity to convene a multi-disciplinary group of RSE Fellows to feed into the review led by Sir Adrian Smith FRS and Professor Graeme Reid FRSE. The review was commissioned by the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to provide independent advice on the design of UK funding schemes for international collaboration, innovation and curiosity-driven blue-skies research, post Brexit. Fifteen RSE Fellows, including Professor Dame Anne Glover, RSE President, participated in the Chatham House Rule discussion.

The roundtable discussion represents the RSE’s contribution to the review process. This report summarises the key points discussed. It has not been endorsed by the meeting participants; nor does it necessarily reflect the views of the RSE.

The UK Government has stated that it remains committed to ongoing collaboration in research and innovation with partners across Europe and that it would like the option to associate to the excellence-based European science and innovation programmes, including Horizon Europe, the successor to Horizon 2020. The terms of any association would need to be agreed upon between the UK and the EU-27. The UK Government is also exploring, in parallel, credible and ambitious alternatives to deliver positive outcomes for science, research and innovation in the event that the UK chooses not to or is unable to associate.

The review is considering these issues and options, and it is expected to report to BEIS Ministers by the end of July.