Statement on International Collaboration and Horizon Europe

Sanger’s Head of Policy, Sarion Bowers, urges the UK Government to commit to joining Horizon Europe and to participate in the European Health Data Space and B1MG.

13 March 2023

The Sanger Institute works in partnership with individuals and organisations around the world to use massive-scale genomics and biodata to understand the biological world and improve human health. International collaboration forms the bedrock of our science. We welcome the recent review of UK Research, Discovery and Innovation by Paul Nurse, and join in calling on the Government to join Horizon Europe. We also call on the Government to participate in European initiatives including Beyond one Million Genomes (B1MG) and the European Health Data Space (EHDS).

European collaboration and participation in European-funded initiatives provides excellent value for money at a time when spending within the UK on research, development and innovation is low. If the UK wishes to remain a scientific superpower, collaboration with Europe is essential and failure to participate in initiatives such as Horizon Europe, B1MG and EHDS threaten to see the UK’s capabilities eclipsed and undermined. Ensuring frictionless data sharing, access to representative and diverse genomic and health data and access to research funding should be a high priority for a Government committed to research, development and innovation and collaboration with Europe offers all of these benefits.

It is the Sanger Institute’s long held view that European and UK science is strongest when done together and that collaboration rather than competition with Europe leads to better science. Science is not a zero sum game and the UK will not realise the benefits of R&D investment if we work in isolation. International collaboration is essential, and European collaboration represents a huge opportunity for UK science.

We urge the Government to commit to joining Horizon Europe and to participation in the European Health Data Space and B1MG.

Related Sanger Institute Policy Responses and Statements