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International Horizon Europe campaign launches to supercharge links between UK researchers and colleagues in Italy and Spain

UK launches PR campaign launches in Italy and Spain to encourage firms and researchers to work with UK researchers through Horizon Europe.

  • UK launches PR campaign launches across print, online and podcasts in Italy and Spain to encourage firms and researchers to work with UK researchers through Horizon Europe.
  • UK associated to Horizon Europe at the start of 2024 – with around £80 billion in grants available to bidders from UK, Italy, Spain and beyond
  • Italy and Spain are integral partners to the UK through international scientific organisations, such as the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), and through our shared interest in issues like climate change and quantum physics. The campaign will build on those already strong links

The brightest thinkers with the biggest ideas from across Spain and Italy are being encouraged to partner with UK scientists, researchers and businesses through the world-leading Horizon Europe programme, as part of a new international campaign that launches today (Thursday 14 March).

Horizon Europe is the world’s largest programme of research collaboration, worth about £80 billion in total. Following the bespoke deal secured last year, UK’s brightest minds can work with partners from over 40 countries – including Italy and Spain – on some of the biggest challenges facing us all, from climate change to healthcare.  

As home to four of the world’s top 10 universities, the UK is a compelling partner to Italy and Spain’s brightest minds. The new campaign will shine a light on the opportunities of collaboration with the UK’s world-leading researchers, to their Italian and Spanish colleagues – from the UK’s best-in-class expertise in fields like space and life sciences, to the potential to access new markets and clients.  

Italy and Spain are already integral partners to the UK through international scientific organisations such as CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, and the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, the multi-billion-pound international project to build the world’s largest radio telescope. UK, Italian and Spanish scientists have also worked together to bring potential HIV-AIDS vaccines to the clinical trial stage, as part of the European AIDS Vaccine Initiative, funded by Horizon’s predecessor.

The campaign looks to build on those strong links, advertising across print, podcasts, and a range of digital platforms, including LinkedIn to encourage new partnerships between the brightest minds of Italy and Spain and their UK counterparts. 

Science and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan said:

We are determined to encourage trailblazing thinkers and researchers in Italy and Spain to partner with UK colleagues through the Horizon Europe programme, on projects that could transform health, energy and more.

As Italy and Spain were among the UK’s top partners in Horizon’s predecessor programme, we can build on our strong history to maximise the potential of Horizon Europe for all our scientists.

Science Minister Andrew Griffith said:  

From Italian talent in space and physics, to Spanish prowess in renewable energy, our southern European neighbours are research powerhouses in their own right. But working together through Horizon Europe gives us the chance to achieve even more – and the UK’s brightest and best stand ready, to do exactly that. 

This campaign is all about spreading that message: our doors are open, and the possibilities that working together might deliver, are limitless.

Firms across the UK are already benefitting from Horizon funding, including Nova Innovation, whose consortium won over £17 million to develop tidal energy in Orkney, and South Yorkshire tech firm The Floow, who are part of a project awarded just under £3 million, looking into road safety.   

The campaign launched today urges Italian and Spanish firms, scientists and researchers to maximise the new opportunities available thanks to the UK’s associate status in Horizon. Shining a light on the benefits of the programme, the communications blitz encourages businesses, particularly smaller firms and researchers with no previous experience, to apply for funding alongside UK colleagues.  

Further information, including practical support on how to apply is available on Innovate UK’s website also host regular events that help guide businesses and researchers through the opportunities on offer and the application process. 


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