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Freeman ‘appalled’ by EU attitude to ERC winners as researchers consider options

Image: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Science minister says Horizon plan B is ready for sign-off, despite uncertainties over academy-run fellowships

Science minister George Freeman has said he is “appalled” by the “weaponising” of UK-based winners of EU grants, as he insisted the Treasury will support his backup plan if the UK fails to join the EU’s Horizon Europe research scheme.

The minister’s comments come after Research Professional News revealed that at least 18 UK-based winners of prestigious European Research Council grants—part of the EU’s €95.5 billion (£80.5bn) R&D programme—are moving their projects abroad. Of around 150 winners based in the UK, just 20 had committed to stay on the eve of a 29 June deadline to decide if they will move their projects abroad or lose their fellowship.

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