Factbox-Horizon project: Which EU science schemes has Britain joined?

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits Kent Scientific Services in West Malling

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Thursday said it would join the European Union's flagship Horizon science research programme and its Copernicus earth observation programme, but not the Euratom nuclear research initiative.

Here are details of the programmes, and the terms on which Britain is - and isn't - engaging with them.


Horizon Europe is the EU's key funding programme for scientific research and innovation with a budget of 95.5 billion euros ($102.3 billion).

It has five main missions: Adapting to climate change, making climate neutral cities, combating cancer, and restoring oceans and soil.

The seven-year programme runs until 2027, and Britain said it would not pay for the time since 2021 when UK researchers were excluded, with costs starting from January 2024.

Britain's government also said a new automatic clawback mechanism "means the UK will be compensated should UK scientists receive significantly less money than the UK puts into the programme".


Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is the Earth observation component of the EU'S Space programme.

It gathers data from satellites and other measurement systems to examine the changing climate, shifts in land use, information on oceans and atmospheric conditions such as air quality.

Britain said the association would give its earth observation sector access to data that could help with early flood and fire warnings, and the ability to bid for contracts they had been shut out of for three years.

It named for Nicolaus Copernicus, the Renaissance proponent of heliocentrism, the theory that placed the sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe.


The EU describes the Euratom Research and Training programme as a "complementary funding programme to Horizon Europe" covering nuclear research and innovation, using the same instruments and participation rules.

Britain will not associate with Euratom, saying that "in line with the preferences of the UK fusion sector, the UK has decided to pursue a domestic fusion energy strategy instead".

($1 = 0.9336 euros)

(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by John Stonestreet)