28th September 2017

Leading academics and civil servants from Norway and Israel agreed that both Europe and the UK could lose out if the UK and the EU do not continue to collaborate on research after Brexit.

Professor Nishan Canagarajah, the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Bristol, asked MEPs consider what would happen to the EU's research output if the UK was not part of their research programmes.

He said: "Imagine what would happen to EU innovation globally if we didn't have an agreement allowing us to continue researching and innovating together. The EU produces one of the best research outputs in the world after the United States by facilitating international collaboration. If we are not careful and don't continue to research together, Europe could lose out."

The Pro Vice-Chancellor was a guest speaker at an event discussing future UK and EU research cooperation after Brexit. Representatives from Israel and Norway also attended and outlined their participation in programmes such as Horizon 2020 while being outside the European Union. Both countries say the networks build through the programmes and quality of research give associated membership real value in addition to access to the funding it brings.

Conservative MEPs' Leader, Ashley Fox, who hosted the event said: "The UK has some of the best universities in the world and more Nobel Prize Laureates than any country apart from the USA. We are world leading in science as we attract the brightest and best to Britain and due to our international approach to research.

"It is in both sides interests that we continue to participate in programmes such as Horizon 2020. That's why the UK government has made continuing cooperation on science, research and technological initiatives a core objective of the UK in the negotiations. If we don't agree to continue our cooperation then the EU's research programmes value and prestige would suffer without us.

"Agreeing to continue innovating and researching together would be an important step in ensuring our shared future is a prosperous one."

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