To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason UK applicants have been excluded from submitting to the EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel during the transition period.
20 October 2020
The Government recognises the importance of research and development (R&D) in helping to transform the steel sector so that it can play a vital role within our modern Industrial Strategy.
Agreement has been reached that UK participants engaged in ongoing Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) projects will continue to be funded until completion. However, the Commission has informed UK participants in consortia that are bidding for funding this year, that they will not be eligible to receive RFCS funding. This is because the resulting grant contracts are due to be signed in April to June 2021, after the end of the transition period established in the Withdrawal Agreement.
Leaving the EU provides us with the opportunity to focus our investment on our own priorities. This includes the Government’s commitment to invest £22 billion in R&D by 2024/2025, which is a record increase in R&D spending. We have also announced a £250 million investment towards a Clean Steel Fund, complemented by a £100 million Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund, to support decarbonisation and make the most of the clean growth opportunities in steel.