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Scientific collaboration with Europe can continue to grow

EU flag
EU flag
“We will continue to be as open to, cooperative and engaged with European science as possible”

As we enter the transition period to leave the EU we would like to acknowledge the many benefits the James Hutton Institute has gained from the EU and say thank you for all that has been achieved. Science is very international. The many ways, techniques, levels of replication and scale we need to deploy to tackle different approaches requires cooperation of people with many different specialised skills working in all sorts of ways. We rely on bringing the best talent from all over the world to work with us, and for us to be able to travel and work easily with them in other countries. The EU has made this easier and - with many cooperative funding calls - has greatly facilitated joint working. Since the start of H2020 in 2014, in the Food Security and Agriculture Science Challenge, of all institute and universities, the Institute is the 6th most successful in UK in terms of funds secured, and 2nd in Scotland winning 8.415 million euros across 21 participations.

To be clear, the issue is not about the money; it is the cooperation. Thankfully everyone on all sides recognises this as mutually beneficial and we feel confident this will continue, albeit that scientists in the UK will need to adapt and apply for calls in different ways: none of the good activities need to end and we will continue to apply for every funding opportunity to allow us to work with European and other international colleagues in the years ahead. All governments in the UK recognise these benefits and there is good will to get the best possible outcomes under the new arrangements so we will not hold back on engaging and will increase our efforts in cooperating further. The Institute has already started meeting closely-aligned European institutes to identify strategic opportunities for the future.

While nothing changes as of Brexit day on 31 January, the transition period will bring more clarity to what happens in the future and we will engage with those who can influence this as much as possible in the months ahead. We will look for more opportunities for us to help make a difference in these deliberations especially around new arrangements for managing land, on food production and environmental regulation. We need to be ready to ensure science is to the fore in informing, advising and contributing creative solutions.

We will fly the EU flag on Brexit day to say thank you and acknowledge how much we appreciate our EU colleagues, and how grateful we are for all the tremendous cooperation and benefits the EU brought us. It is our signal that we will continue to be as open to, cooperative and engaged with European science as possible.

Professor Colin Campbell, Chief Executive, James Hutton Institute

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/scientific-collaboration-europe-can-continue-grow on 13/07/20 12:52:00 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.