Wednesday, April 10, 2019

#H2020 #Brexit Decline and Fall?


The table below shows the number and value of H2020 grants in total and those allocated to the UK, divided into the years when the grant is due to start. They show a clear reduction in the quantity and value of UK grants following the UK referendum at the end of June 2016.


EC contribution
Participations

Total €m
UK €m
UK share
Total
UK
UK share
2014
625.3
113.7
18.2%
1901
167
8.8%
2015
10,945.0
1,616.3
14.8%
28,840
3,698
12.8%
2016
11,274.1
1,746.8
15.5%
29,037
3,722
12.8%
’14-’16
22,844.4
3,476.9
15.2%
59,778
7,587
12.7%
2017
10,727.1
1,423.2
13.3%
27,793
3,193
11.5%
2018
10,526.8
1,370.2
13.0%
25,645
2,816
11.0%
2019
5,341.3
6902.2
11.8%
12,692
1,311
10.3%
Notes: data published at 3 April 2019; excludes Euratom










      The number of grants starting in 2014 is small relative to other years. Here we combine the three years from 2014 to 2016 to provide a baseline for comparison. The baseline includes all of 2016, because most of the related proposals would have been prepared and evaluated eight months earlier, before the UK referendum was held at the end of June 2018.

The data shows the UK share of EC funding and of participations, where participation means the involvement of a specific organisation in a specific project. The change from the baseline to 2019 is a reduction of 22.8% in funding and of 18.6% in participations.

Comparing only the highest and lowest shares per year (excluding 2014) produces corresponding reductions of 24.1% and 19.4%. While countries experience changes in their shares, the maximum other than the UK is 14% for countries with a large participation in H2020. The table below provides this data for the five countries which usually are the major recipients of H2020 funding.



Germany
France
Spain
Italy
Netherlands

€ %
No.%
€ %
No.%
€ %
No.%
€ %
No.%
€ %
No.%
2014
13.9
10.9
13.6
10.3
10.3
12.6
12.7
13.4
4.0
4.2
2015
15.7
13.2
10.7
8.9
8.5
9.4
8.4
9.3
8.4
7.0
2016
14.6
11.9
10.3
8.7
8.9
9.5
9.3
10.0
8.1
6.5
2017
14.4
11.8
10.1
8.9
9.3
10.0
8.5
9.5
8.3
6.6
2018
13.6
11.4
11.1
9.0
8.8
9.9
8.8
10.0
7.8
6.3
2019
15.2
12.4
11.7
9.3
8.1
9.7
8.4
9.9
7.8
6.1
% difference, max v min
13.5
13.5
14.1
6.7
12.8
5.8
9.9
7.8
7.5
12.6
€ % = share of EC contributions; No. % = share of participations,

= maximum or minimum

Coordinating
Of course, the data does not explain the reasons for the decline in UK participation. One obvious possibility is that researchers, in the UK and elsewhere, feel uncertainty about the future. Perhaps they do not believe the UK government’s undertaking to provide financial support for UK participants in any project selected for EC funding if the EU withdraws its support on the UK’s departure from the EU (the budget and administration are in place to do this). Another possibility is they don’t believe the EC would allow a UK organisation to coordinate a project after departure (the grant agreement contains terms to handle this, so yes, it is possible).


Coordinators

Total
UK no.
UK %
2014
160
13
8.1
2015
1962
262
13.4
2016
1848
273
14.8
2017
1706
208
12.2
2018
1446
170
11.8
2019
761
70
9.2
So our final set of statistics are about coordinators. These are from the same source as before, but we have removed all projects which are funding a single organisation. This means most ERC grants, SME grants and individual fellowships under Marie Sklodowska-Curie, which represent about one third of all H2020 projects (the EC data identifies sole project participants as coordinators in its databases). 

As before, the numbers for 2014 are too small to provide guidance. But if we combine the years 2014-2016, the UK provided 13.8% of coordinators, above its share of participations in that period. Then decline sets in, with an especially dramatic reduction in 2019. Compared with the 2014-16 average, it amounts to a 33.4% reduction, suggesting that scepticism about coordinating is greater than that about participating.