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Engaging in Europe: Ensuring Excellence with Impact

A new report celebrating the UK Research Council’s comprehensive range of collaborations with partners across Europe over the past 30 years has been published today to mark the launch of Horizon 2020.

Engaging in Europe showcases the UK’s contribution to research within Europe through leadership and collaboration. The report looks forward to an even more integrated approach to research and innovation collaboration across the continent in the future.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “This report highlights the important role the UK plays in groundbreaking collaborative work with European partners. We want the UK to be the best place in the world to undertake research, develop new products and commercialise innovations. “The new Horizon 2020 programme represents a huge opportunity for the UK and our research base to have an even greater impact. I have no doubt that our expertise will ensure that we are able to maintain this momentum, breaking new ground and retaining our position as a world leader for innovation.”

The launch of Engaging in Europe coincides with the official UK launch event of Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is the biggest ever EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020). The programme retains its strong emphases on excellence, mobility and training, while a greater focus on engaging with industry hopes to leverage more private sector involvement than in previous programmes.

Professor Paul Boyle, RCUK International Champion, said: “The Research Councils have been active in Europe for many years and the launch of Horizon 2020 is a timely occasion to mark our significant contribution to European research. RCUK welcomes Horizon 2020 and the opportunities it brings for supporting collaborative research in – and beyond – Europe. Complementary funding at a national and European level enables us to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s major research challenges in an agile and flexible manner.”

The report also celebrates 30 years of the UK Research Office (UKRO) in Brussels which promotes effective UK engagement in EU research, innovation and higher education activities. UKRO’s 30th anniversary celebrations will include a high-level reception in Brussels and the UKRO Annual Conference in June.

Engaging in Europe, is available here

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Further information

Nicholas Turner
Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592 or email: Nicholas Turner

Notes to editors

  1. The UK Research Office (UKRO) is the European office of the UK Research Councils.

    UKRO’s mission is to promote effective UK engagement in EU research, innovation and higher education activities, by:

    • Enabling the UK research community to make informed decisions about participation in EU programmes and to maximise the opportunities available to them;
    • Supporting UK input into European research policy development and implementation through informing and interfacing with the appropriate bodies; and
    • Developing and maintaining a suite of quality services that meet the evolving needs of sponsors and subscribers.


    The Office operates on a membership basis, receiving subscriptions primarily from universities, charities and Research Councils UK (RCUK).

  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education funding bodies, business, government, and charitable organisations.

    The seven UK Research Councils are:

    • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
    • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
    • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
    • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
    • Medical Research Council (MRC);
    • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
    • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

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