‘The best science is international’: UK, EU restore research partnership


As Britain left the European Union, it strained the bridge between British scientists and their EU counterparts, and also severed British access to Horizon Europe, the EU’s behemoth innovation-funding arm and its €95.5 billion ($104.5 billion) coffer. This month, the United Kingdom is back as an “associate country” to Horizon Europe, and the world will be better for it, scientists say.

For years, the U.K. was the No. 2 destination for scientists pursuing research. But “that’s really been damaged by Brexit and the perception of us being cut off from the world,” says Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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Britain is back in Europe! Well, in Horizon Europe, the European Union’s research and innovation program. The renewed cooperation between British and EU scientists is restoring opportunities that Brexit had stymied.

With Brexit, the U.K. dropped behind both China and the United States. “That’s really anathema to the research spirit. Politicians need to realize that’s not helping the U.K,” says Dr. Ward.

“It’s a club, a gang you need to be in if you’re the U.K.” says Adrian Smith, president of the Royal Society, the U.K.’s independent science academy. “The prestige of being associated with things like the European Research Council Fellowships, being assessed by a huge pool of experts, 30,000 researchers in 30 countries … as opposed to the alternative which is going it alone … is pretty unthinkable.”

Tevva, a British zero-emissions truck manufacturer, isn’t just trying to create a replacement for diesel transports. It’s also serving as a stage for European research.

At least in a manner of speaking. As part of a project organized by Horizon Europe, the European Union’s behemoth scientific research and innovation program, Tevva is working with scientists and companies hailing from both the United Kingdom and the EU to develop the next-generation electric truck.

“And they’ve set some really aggressive objectives, with difficult range and efficiency targets,” says Stuart Cottrell, Tevva’s head of energy services and government partnerships.

Why We Wrote This

A story focused on

Britain is back in Europe! Well, in Horizon Europe, the European Union’s research and innovation program. The renewed cooperation between British and EU scientists is restoring opportunities that Brexit had stymied.

Having access to the capabilities of partners from countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, and Greece has helped Tevva see what’s possible in pushing for greater efficiency – hauling more cargo, for greater distances, for less energy. With their zero-emissions trucks as laboratories, Tevva is helping manufacturers demonstrate their capabilities.

“It’s kind of a two-way street. We’re developing a product, while some of them are developing tools,” says Mr. Cottrell. What’s clear is that together they’re pushing the envelope. “This depth of consortium couldn’t have been built solely in the U.K.,” he says.

Courtesy of Tevva

An electric-battery truck sits outside the manufacturing facility of Tevva in London. Tevva is working with scientists and companies hailing from both the United Kingdom and the European Union to develop the next-generation electric truck.

As Britain left the European Union, it strained the bridge between British scientists and their EU counterparts, and severed British access to Horizon Europe, the EU’s behemoth innovation-funding arm and its €95.5 billion ($104.5 billion) coffer. This month, after years of negotiations, the United Kingdom is back as an “associate country” to Horizon Europe, and the world will be better for it, scientists say.

Today’s most pressing issues require the best-trained scientific minds, and those talents are rarely contained within a single country’s borders, says Adrian Smith, president of the Royal Society, the U.K.’s independent science academy.



This article was originally published by a www.csmonitor.com . Read the Original article here. .