2023 will see more Horizon association agreements

EU flag and Japan flag, illustrating horizon europe association
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Canada is likely to become the next country to join the EU’s flagship €95.5 billion research programme, with potential negations opening for Japan and South Korea’s Horizon association

EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel has revealed hopes for opening research negotiations with Japan and South Korea, both currently in exploratory talks with the European Commission.

Gabriel expressed her expectation that several Horizon Europe association talks will conclude successfully this year in her talk with the European Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee ITRE, this week.

Canadian collaboration

Formal relations between the EU and Canada concerning research and innovation date back to 1996, with the Agreement on cooperation in scientific and technological cooperation.

According to Gabriel, Canada is likely to be the next country to join Horizon Europe, expecting the association to be sorted within the first half of 2023. This relationship will allow Canadian researchers and innovators to access the multi-billion Euro funding on an equal footing with other EU member states.

Finding a route from Horizon to Japan and South Korea

“As for Japan and South Korea, we are getting closer to the end of exploratory discussions,” Gabriel notes.

An EU delegation led by the Commission’s research chief Signe Ratso is attempting to advance talks in Japan. Still, Gabriel pointed out that “Japan will be chairing [the G7 research ministers’ meeting in April], so we may be able to make some progress there”.

Awareness raising

The next on the list are Singapore and Australia. However, according to the Commissioner, the Commission is yet to open exploratory talks with the two countries and is still at an “awareness raising” stage.

December saw New Zealand become the first, and so far, the only country outside Europe to complete association talks with Brussels under the open-to-the-world policy.

Once the agreement is signed, its researchers will be allowed to participate in pillar II of the programme, which focuses on industrial partnerships and large-scale collaborative research projects tackling societal challenges in areas like climate change, energy and mobility.


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