Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences said:
“We find ourselves at a critical moment for UK science, where the time is running out for the UK to associate to Horizon Europe.
“Despite the challenges, there is still time to secure Horizon Europe association. The scientific community has spoken out repeatedly to highlight that association is the best outcome for research in the UK and in Europe. What is good for research is also good for the health of people everywhere. Patients and the public in the UK, and around the world, will benefit if researchers in the UK and EU can freely collaborate through Horizon Europe. Today we are asking all policy makers working on this not to give up – there is still time to make this work and to secure future health gains in the process.
“We should remember that scientists working together around the world has been integral to our approach to tackling the pandemic – bringing vaccines and treatments with unprecedented speed. Associating to Horizon Europe will provide the foundation for future collaborative health research that will improve people’s lives.
“Health research is an international endeavour, it relies on supporting the best ideas, but also on creating cross-border networks. These are especially important for shared global health challenges including detection and control of infectious diseases, tackling complex problems like antimicrobial resistance and clinical trials for, for example, rare and childhood diseases. Horizon Europe provides an important and established framework for the networks and relationships that underpin international health research and benefit patients’ health everywhere.
“It will be deeply disappointing if the UK is not able to associate to Horizon Europe. While we would all be extremely concerned by that outcome, given the circumstances, it will be the Academy’s responsibility to work collaboratively to ensure that UK researchers continue to have access to both the funding and the international networks necessary to go on delivering impactful health research.
“We have been consistent in our position on associating to Horizon Europe. For the last five years, since the EU referendum, the Academy has been putting the case for association directly to policy makers domestically, in UK government, as well as in Europe through working closely with the Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) and sister Academies across Europe."