The President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Sir John Ball, has written to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to urge him to secure the UK’s membership of the Horizon Europe project as quickly as possible.

The UK Government has already extended a guarantee to cover all Horizon Europe funding calls until 30 September this year.

Over the last Horizon project, Scottish organisations benefitted from a total of €852.6m of the Horizon 2020 budget – some 11.14% of the total funding awarded to UK organisations. Small to medium sized enterprises secured nearly £100m of the €126.6m secured by Scottish businesses.

In his open letter to the Prime Minister, Professor Sir John Ball said: “Maintaining research collaborations in the face of uncertainty is very challenging and the Horizon scheme provides a unique solution that delivers international connections and knowledge sharing across borders, with a view to addressing key global challenges.

“If the UK is serious about tackling, and indeed leading on, global challenges such as climate change, we need programmes like Horizon – not just for funding, but for the unparalleled routes to international partnerships.”

The open letter has also been sent to the Scottish First Minister, Humza Yousaf; the Minister for Higher and Further Education, Graeme Dey; and the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack.

John M. Ball wearing a suit and tie
President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Professor Sir John Ball

The letter in its entirety is shown below.