Maia Kaplan
Berlin Office

The European Research and Development landscape is one of the many policy areas that stands to be affected by the UK’s decision to secede from the European Union. UK-based businesses and universities are currently eligible for a variety of lucrative European funded grant instruments, such as the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.

What does Brexit mean for the UK’s future access to European R&D funds?

Recently, UK based businesses and universities have counted as chief beneficiaries of European funds, pulling down on average more than €1bn in annual grant support. Funding support enables these organisations to foster greater technological innovation, increase their global competitiveness, and exchange new knowledge with European partners. Continued access to such instruments post-EU secession will now largely depend on the UK government’s ability to negotiate a favourable agreement with its European neighbours; a priority competing with other priorities including access to the EU single market and free movement principles.

Official secession negotiations are not expected to begin before March 2017. Even in the best case scenario, these negotiations are unlikely to conclude before the end of year 2020 meaning UK organisations face an extended period of uncertainty as to what their exact future options are, and how they can best prepare for the new realities.

In order for these organisations to take strategic decisions regarding future R&D activities in Europe, the following questions will need to be answered:

  • Will UK organisations maintain full access to EU research funds?
  • Will UK organisations be able to participate in European consortiums?
  • Will UK organisations face participation bias from partners and fund assessors?
  • How does the government plan to support UK organisations if full access is not achieved?

How can LNE Group support your organisation?

LNE Group’s European Public Affairs practice advises clients in political risk assessment, and devises impactful advocacy strategies to defend their interests. We combine an understanding of the legal decision-making processes with political intelligence sourced from government networks in Brussels, UK and other Member State capitals to keep our clients abreast of all Brexit-related developments impacting their operations in real-time. Our Brexit consulting services are provided in two-steps, namely:

Step 1: Understand. Clients formulate a deep understanding of the Brexit issue through a detailed intelligence report, and customised 1-day workshop addressing the following items:

  • Overview of the legal secession process;
  • Mapping of key Brexit political decision-makers and influencers, including their respective negotiation positions;
  • Definition of potential secession negotiation outcomes (e.g. Soft Brexit vs. Hard Brexit), including the likelihood of each outcome and timing;
  • Analysis of how each identified outcome stands to affect the client’s operations; and
  • Recommendations on how the client may mitigate negative impacts of outcomes via active engagement with UK and European political stakeholders.

A monthly intelligence report tracking and analysing key political Brexit developments is an optional extra to the initial report and workshop enabling clients to stay informed.

Step 2: Engage. At one point during negotiations it may become important for the client to actively in engage with political stakeholders and other interest groups to ensure their voice is reflected in the ultimate decision. LNE Group can support such efforts via the following deliverables:

  • Devising a comprehensive engagement strategy (including Social Media)
  • Generating relevant materials for engagement (Position Papers, Op-Eds, etc.)
  • Connecting with relevant political decision-makers and interest groups
  • Managing diverse coalitions for issue-specific campaigns