Innovation boost as UK rejoins Horizon Europe

  • Thursday, September 21, 2023
  • Posted By The Growth Company
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UK manufacturers are once again able to participate in the world’s largest R&D collaboration programme, offering opportunities to take part in cutting-edge innovation projects. 
The UK’s membership of Horizon Europe had been one of the casualties of the EU Exit process, but UK scientists and businesses are now able to access the €95 billion programme again thanks to a bespoke deal brokered by government. 
Rochdale manufacturer NEMA Ltd – which received expert support from our Manufacturing Service between 2018-2023 to improve its processes and invest in new equipment –recently completed a Horizon Europe funded aviation project as part of a consortium with the University of Nottingham and French aerospace giant Safran.     
GC Business Growth Hub has played a key role in helping SMEs like NEMA to link up with research and innovation opportunities within Greater Manchester in recent years.  
Other manufacturers we have supported to access R&D expertise include Anderton Board & Packaging in Trafford and GJD Manufacturing in Rochdale. Both companies secured Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with Manchester Metropolitan University following our support, which paired them with academic experts and a postgraduate placement. 
Horizon Europe is open to all types of organisation across the EU, as well as Norway, New Zealand and Israel, providing funding for projects across several key areas: 

  • Excellent Science: frontier research and breakthrough scientific ideas
  • Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness: innovative research in health; culture; civil security; digital, industry & space; climate, energy & mobility; and food, bioeconomy & natural resources
  • Innovative Europe: identifying, developing and scaling-up breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations.  

Re-joining Horizon Europe opens up potentially billions of pounds of innovation funding for UK organisations until the programme ends in 2027. Government body UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will act as the core national contact point organisations can use to find relevant projects. 
Some funding calls allow a single organisation to apply, but many require a team of partner organisations from different countries to form a consortium. This often includes a mix of universities, public sector organisations, large businesses and SMEs.  

GC Business Growth Hub was part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2014-2021, as part of a portfolio of ERDF-funded programmes designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. Eligibility criteria was applied. The 2014-2021 ERDF  fund was allocated by the European Union that finances convergence, regional competitiveness and employment and territorial co-operation.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government was the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which was one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information, visit European Regional Development Fund: Documents and Guidance - GOV.UK (

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