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Government confirms science and technology funding safe despite Brexit

The UK government has confirmed that funding for science and technology research will not be affected by the country's decision to leave the European Union, promising that EU-agreed funding will continue even after Brexit is finalised.

Some of the facilities that will benefit include the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre in Manchester, the Thames Valley Science Park and Cornwall's Carluddon Technology Park.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Structural and investment funds projects signed before the Autumn Statement, and Horizon research funding granted before we leave the EU, will be guaranteed by the Treasury after we leave."

Charlotte Holloway - Policy Director at techUK - praised the decision, saying: “This weekend’s statements from the Chancellor provide welcome short term certainty and a reassuring signal that major science and technology projects will be guaranteed beyond the date that the UK leaves the EU. Whilst the tech industry will be looking for more detail, including on what will happen over the longer term, this is a step in the right direction.

“The UK’s leadership in tech is tied to the success of our world-leading universities and researchers - Horizon 2020 funding for university collaborations has been hugely significant in the UK’s tech ecosystem.

“As Dame Anne Glover has highlighted, we now need to focus on making sure the Government’s approach to exiting the EU is well aligned to the needs of UK tech and science. UK leadership in these areas must be sustained with an ongoing voice at the table in shaping important international science collaborations."

The government promise comes at a good time, as just last week a survey revealed that the Brexit outcome has shaken the confidence of the UK tech sector regarding the potential for growth over the next two years.

Respondents believe that the vote to leave the EU will have negative impacts on foreign direct investment (49 per cent), capital investment (48 per cent), and R&D spend in the UK (48 per cent).

Image source: Shutterstock/rangizzz