A separation worth 7,5 billion

Nieuws | de redactie
1 augustus 2013 | Although the EU membership should not only be about ‘grant grubbing’, it would be a ‘disaster’ for science, in both the UK and the EU, were Britain to leave the union, MEP Andrew Duff says.

It would be disastrous for scientific cooperation, were the UK to leave the European Union, MEP Andrew Duff sayson Science|Business. “The argument isn’t just about trade and money – it’s also about science and innovation.”

Andrew Duff, a prominent European parliamentarian from the UK region that includes Cambridge University, states that “the future of UK science and innovation is dependent on Britain staying in the EU – and, conversely, the rest of Europe needs the UK to make EU science stronger.”

Biggest slice of the cake

Earlier this year it became clear that together with German, French and Dutch researchers, the British get the biggest slice of the cake from the European Research Council. In its last call the ERC granted €680 million to 160 institutions across 24 different countries.

EU research funding is extremely important for the UK, Duff empahsizes. “By the end of the 2007-2013 Framework Programme 7 the UK will have received around €7.5 billion in funding. Its importance is highlighted clearly at Cambridge, with estimates indicating that 20 per cent of the work undertaken by its researchers is funded by EU grants.”

A substantial blow for research

Although the EU membership is not simply about ‘grant grubbing’, according to the MEP, Britain leaving the EU would “be a disaster” and would represent a substantial body blow for research and innovation around Britain and its economy.

Duff suggests it also concerns the “cultural membership of a wider scholastic community – dating back to the Renaissance.” He sees this as a framework to grow global connections and a key reason why Britain should stay in the EU.

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