Blog: Brexit, science and technology

24 Jun 2016 | News

Follow us for latest updates on what the Brexit vote means for research and innovation across Europe

  Researchers of Sheffield Hallam University ousted from 4 out of 12 international research bids

Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University, told the BBC:

"You bid competitively, and increasingly, in an international environment, you bid in international teams. Since the referendum results, of the 12 projects that we have people working on for submission for end of August deadlines, on four of those projects researchers in other European countries have said that they no longer feel that the UK should be a partner because they don't have confidence in what the future is going to hold."

UK researchers fear Brexit will cut them out of bids for EU collaborative funding

There is no dossier, but anecdotal evidence that British researchers are being sidelined in putting together proposals for Horizon 2020 grants is growing. Read the full story:

Brexit could be a death knell for the European Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court

UK withdrawal from the EU will fundamentally change the basic scope of the Unitary Patent and the associated Unitary Patent Court. This could permanently jeopardise the launch of the European single patent. Read the full story:

 British scientists must work hard to urge policy-makers to promote continued scientific collaborations and advise on how to move ahead.

Graeme Reid, chair of sience and research policy at University College London, said:

"Maybe the UK’s next prime minister should offer to host new international research facilities along with the EU, or increase the support the UK gives to UK businesses and universities considering EU collaborations. Perhaps further research fellowships for talented scientists wishing to collaborate or move across the EU could be launched. These are not hollow gestures: They would bring benefits in their own right as well as rebuild trust. The scientific community could brainstorm such possibilities and work closely with the government on next steps. Indeed, wise policy-makers understand that R&D develops people for the wider labor market, creates new products and businesses, and makes huge contributions to health care, defense, the natural environment, and public services. These benefits are built on strong collaborative science."

 The Brexit opportunism prize: The Belgian-Canadian Business Chamber spams Canadian companies to lure them away from the UK

The email from Belgian-Canadian Business Chamber reads:

"Canadian companies must therefore reconsider their position with respect to the UK; while the latter has traditionally been the logical choice for Canadian companies, given a common language and similar legal structure, Canadians will now have to question whether these commonalities will be reason enough to trump the upcoming challenges in the business relationship between the UK and the world's largest single market.

"If the answer to the above question is "no", then alternatives must be sought. In this context, Belgium becomes an even more attractive destination for Canadian businesses looking to invest and/or expand their operations into Europe."


Scientists for EU open survey to monitor Brexit vote impact on UK science

"We want to track how the result is impacting our science and innovation – we need to hear from you. So please fill in the form below and also indicate whether you would be willing for any media to contact you and discuss further – your story is still very valuable if you prefer it to be strictly confidential."

The form is here:

 The UK referendum and a potential future Brexit will have no direct impact on the COST programme

The COST programme is run by an independent, intergovernmental organisation, of which the UK has been a full member since the programme was created in 1971. And this status is independent from European Union membership.

The day-to-day business will continue on the grounds of our existing contracts with the EU Commission, which are the framework partnership agreement and the specific grant agreements, until a new situation would arise in context of Article 50.

Read the full statement here.

 There is "not really" a way for the UK to protect research funding and limit freedom of movement, Dame Anne Glover tells BBC Radio 4

"We want free movement of people. That is what we rely on to get the best possible advantage from Horizon 2020," said Glover

"Switzerland was a full associated country of Horizon 2020. As soon as they voted in a referendum to restrict immigration in Switzerland, overnight they became a non-associated country and no longer had access." 

Listen to her full radio interview on the BBC iPlayer at 1 hour 50 minutes into the taped replay.

Stéphane Boissel, CEO of biotech firm TxCell in France, says a Brexit would see his UK costs increase by 30 per cent.

“We have a research tax credit in France which means for every euro we spend in the EU we get a refund of 30 cents,” he explains.

This rebate applies for R&D money spent in France or Spain or Belgium but not, for example, in Switzerland, as it is only an associate member of the EU.

Boissel’s company receives funding from the UK’s Cell Therapies Catapult.

“It’s a multi-million euro contract and I’m not sure I’d sign it today, given last week’s vote. I may have to think twice about doing a clinical trial here in the future if the UK leaves,” he added.

 Magnus Stenbeck, a senior researcher with Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet, emailed to say his main Brexit concern is where it leaves the recently-agreed EU data protection rules.

“I can foresee many difficulties if the UK will not have the same legislation pertaining to the use of personal data in research as the EU will have,” he said.  

Stenbeck credits the Wellcome Trust, the largest charitable funder of research in Europe, “as the main international player in getting a common legislation in place that will work across borders and make research in medicine and other fields on large databases and registers possible.

“Since the UK now has (preliminarily) decided to leave in the middle of the national implementation phases of this new legislation – which will come into effect at about the same time (May 25,2018) the UK is due to exit – we of course have many question on continued collaboration, and whether the UK will implement these upcoming rules at all?” Stenbeck added.

UK science minister Jo Johnson, speaking at the Wellcome Trust earlier, said he “would be concerned about any discrimination against UK participants” in Horizon 2020 following the UK vote to leave the EU last Thursday.

Some researchers have been saying international partners view the UK as a risky bet since Brexit. “[I] am in close touch with [EU Research] Commissioner Moedas on these issues,” Johnson added.

The minister also said he couldn’t give any certainties about how British scientists can access future EU research programmes, but that he was sure the UK would continue doing very well regardless: “It is too early to say what a new settlement will look like and exactly what our relationship to successor framework programmes will be – but I am confident that we can continue to thrive.”

Government must step in if Brexit leads to science funding shortfall

Uncertainty reigns in British science, not least because the UK gets more out in R&D funding than it contributes. Nicola Blackwood MP, chair of parliament’s Science and Technology Committee, has written to Chancellor George Osborne demanding answers. Read the full story:

Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, said:

“This is not just about science but also about Innovation and the translation of science into business. The UK also ranks first in the SME instrument within H2020. When it comes to productivity and economic growth in the UK, science is our seedcorn and the funding that goes to SMEs and the support that goes to partnership between science and businesses is our sprouting seedcorn. The impact of reduced translational and innovation funding is likely to be seen sooner. I feel  that the link between science and business – needs to be made."


Top Horizon 2020 beneficiaries in the UK unnerved by referendum results

The top six universities in the UK are involved in Horizon 2020 projects worth almost €500M. Vice chancellors are anxiously seeking reassurances on this current research and the question of access to future EU R&D programmes. Read the full story:

"Not one member of Scientists for Britain has a full time academic post in a university," says Birkbeck Reader

Belinda Brooks-Gordon, a Reader in psychology and social policy at the Birkbeck University of London, emails to say that we should not refer to the campaign group Scientists for Britain [which advocated for Leave] as a ‘rival group’ to Scientists for EU [which campaigned for Remain]. “They have no comparison to the leading scientists involved in Scientists for EU,” she says. “As far as I can see, not one member of Scientists for Britain has a full time academic post in a university. I note that one of the names was an advisor to [one of the leading Brexit campaigners] Michael Gove.

“One body is an ‘astro-turf’ organisation merely posing as a grassroots movement,” she adds.

Researcher says: Vote down the referendum results and force a constitutional crisis in British parliament

Ali Mobasheri, a researcher at the University of Surrey, told Science|Business:

"From now on we must focus on actions that can effectively impede the progress of Brexit and put pressure on Members of Parliament who have been consistently in the "Remain" campaign and put pressure on them to act in our best interest and negotiate the best possible deal for us. I would go as far as saying that we should lobby our MPs to vote against the "Leave" process in parliament and thus bring about a constitutional crisis. If there was ever a time to  force a constitutional crisis, it would be NOW!"

MedTech firms fear UK could decouple from EU regulatory system

UK industry experts played a leading role in hammering out new medical devices rules signed off the week before Brexit referendum. Now they fear they will be barred from the system. Read the full story:

UK government must step in if EU vote leads to science funding shortfall, says chair of the Science and Technology Committee Nicola Blackwood

"Now, more than ever, the Government will need to demonstrate how science and research is a fundamental building block of our future prosperity, to encourage that continuing private sector investment," wrote Blackwood. Read the letter in full here.

Era of unpredictability for SMEs as Britain votes out

Small and medium-sized businesses and advisers have highlighted the  uncertain future ahead for the small business landscape following Britain’s exit from the European Union. Click here to read more.

UK science minister Jo Johnson gave a speech earlier today in which he repeated some broad reassurances given yesterday by his government.

He also backed his brother, Boris, a leading Brexit campaigner, to become next Prime Minister – which may not endear him with a lot of researchers. Full statement containing reassurances here.

Mike Galsworthy, a scientist and campaigner with Scientists for EU, has a relatively positive spin on the Brexit result which left researchers devastated. He says that now that a lot of the campaign noise has been turned down, focus on the future of UK research has sharpened.

“I am swamped with journalist requests like never before,” he writes in an email. “Now that Stronger IN and Vote Leave [the two official referendum groups] are gone, there seems to be much more space to talk about other issues – and more and more people are asking "what next?" about universities, EU citizens and science. So we're gunning ahead full steam. Maybe, just maybe... our time is now.” 

"If I was in Italy or Germany or Estonia and thinking of inviting a U.K. partner, I might think again," former EU chief scientific adviser tells Science Magazine

"I’ve been trying to get some clarity to find out what will happen, because there are people today preparing grant applications for Horizon 2020 calls. What I’m assuming is that we can continue to apply and we could still be awarded a program as long as the start date was before the formal date of our Brexit. That’s my best guess," Anne Glover told Science Magazine

To read the full interview, click here.

Tech City UK launches online survey to find out how digital start-ups will be affected by Brexit



 Brendan Dunphy, a consultant in the UK, emails to say, “Let’s remind ourselves that the referendum result is not a legally binding decision on the UK parliament.

"Only parliament can repeal the EU membership legislation and until it does, Brexit is only the result of a non-binding referendum. There is a chance that the existing government will not invoke article 50 [of the Lisbon Treaty]. There is even more of a chance that a newly elected government with a ‘Remain’ mandate would not do so. The British business, education and financial establishments (amongst others) are increasing pressure to effect this outcome as the short and medium term negative consequences sink-in,” says Dunphy.

UK participants can continue to apply for Horizon 2020 grants in the usual way, says UK minister for Universities and Science

"The referendum result has no immediate effect on those applying to or participating in Horizon 2020. UK participants can continue to apply to the programme in the usual way. The future of UK access to European science funding will be a matter for future discussions. Government is determined to ensure that the UK continues to play a leading role in European and international research." the minister said in a statement.



 If it becomes harder for UK nationals to work in other EU states and vice-versa, the existing skills shortages in Europe’s digital industries could be exacerbated  

“We struggle to hire enough skilled developers, solutions engineers and product managers,” said Sarah Wood, co-founder  and co-CEO at Unruly, a video ad tech company, with 250 employees and  five offices across the EU. A fifth of the employees at its London HQ  come from EU countries beyond the UK.

  Scientists have no faith in Boris Johnson to negotiate a good outcome for researchers

On Sunday, Boris Johnson, prominent Brexit campaigner and a leading candidate to be the country’s next prime minister, attempted to reassure researchers in a pitch for the UK’s future relationship with the EU. “There will still be intense and intensifying European cooperation and partnership in a huge number of fields: the arts, the sciences, the universities, and on improving the environment,” he said.

Science|Business asked Maggie Smith, associate head of the biology department at the University of York, whether she had faith in Johnson to negotiate a good outcome for researchers?

“None,” she replied.

Horizon 2020 contracts safe, insist Moedas and Cameron

In the wake of the UK vote to leave the EU, leaders offer reassurances to researchers anxious about the effects on science. Read full story:

Tomorrow EU Commissioner for Research Carlos Moedas will meet with the scientific council of the European Research Council (ERC), a hugely popular funder among British scientists. Will Brexit be on the agenda?

An ERC spokeswoman emailed to say, “The meeting with Commissioner Moedas was planned a long time ago, well before the UK referendum. This will be an open exchange of views without any specific subject on the agenda.

“We know that many researchers working in the United Kingdom and benefitting from ERC grants are concerned about the possible impact of the UK referendum. For the time being, however, nothing changes. EU law continues to apply to the full to the UK and in the UK until it is no longer a member.”

A spokeswoman from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) has emailed to say, in light of the Brexit vote, “All legal and contractual rights and obligations will continue to be met until a decision is reached on the exit agreement.”

The innovation body’s climate research division, called Climate KIC, is hosted by Imperial College London.

 Brexit fallout will damage ICT sector across Europe

Europe’s digital sector, already grappling with skill shortages and a lack of scale, is bracing itself for the Brexit hit. Entrepreneurs, investors and CEOs fear UK withdrawal will undermine competitiveness in the sector as a whole. Read the full story:

 UCL Provost: "We have the full right to apply for Horizon 2020 and for ERC funding"

UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur assures UCL students and staff from EU countries that they don't need to worry about their status at the University. "It is crucially important that we don't get deflected just by one series of political events," says Arthur.

 David Cameron: Horizon 2020 contracts safe

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, the Prime Minister said contracts involving UK universities and businesses will be honoured, despite Britain voting to leave the bloc last Thursday.  “Obviously the key decision will be post-leaving, about how we put in  arrangements to safeguard the excellent research facilities and universities we have,” he added.


Brexit triggers "war for talent" for pharma and biotech industries, says InSphero CEO

Jan Lichtenberg, CEO of InSphero said:

“A big challenge for the pharma and biotech industries after the Brexit will be the war for talent. With stricter immigration laws and no direct access to the European labor force, it will be harder for U.K. companies to hire excellent people. A second equally important disadvantage is the expected exclusion of U.K. companies and universities from European research grants and programs—less funding, no access to leading European research teams. We live in competitive times and seemingly small disadvantages can easily add up to severe problems.” 

 Brexit: muted impact within the energy and environment sector

Jonathan Robinson, principal consultant for energy & environment at Frost & Sullivan said:

"The result of the referendum for the UK to exit the EU has created quite a bit of uncertainty in the general market, but within the energy and environment sector the impact is more muted, given that the interests of both the EU and the UK have largely been broadly aligned."  

 UK universities will have to review funding sources and trim their budgets, says telecoms expert

William Webb, CEO Weightless SIG, a not-for-profit involved in developing the open standard for IoT technology, said:

"Some of our Universities have become somewhat reliant on EC funding through programmes such as Horizon2020. Government may wish to review funding arrangements and those Universities may need to trim their budgets accordingly. On the plus side, affected entities will no longer need to tailor research proposals towards activities that they believe will find favour at EC level."

 Juncker won't go

When asked if President Juncker will resign following Brexit  vote, a Commission spokesman says: “Two letters…The first one is an N.”

 University of Bristol to work with Universities UK and the Russell Group to mitigate the impact of Brexit

"Leaving the EU will be a gradual process and nothing is likely to happen in the short-term. We will be working with Universities UK and the Russell Group throughout the transition period to mitigate the various possible impacts of the outcome of the referendum on universities," the University of Bristol said in a statement

 Referendum results have not changed anything, says EU research Commissioner

"Until the end of the negotiations, UK remains Member of the EU and therefore with all the rights and obligations, including in relation to Research Programmes like Horizon 2020," Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for research and innovation told Science|Business.

"From a legal point of view, the outcome of the referendum has not changed anything. The EU law continues to apply in full to the UK and in the UK until the moment it is no longer a Member State," said Moedas. 

Some London-based tech companies may be tempted to relocate to Berlin or Amsterdam

James Lovegrove, senior director at APCO Worldwide said:

"London’s thriving tech ecosystem, ranging from Google’s vast investments to the Old Street start-up/scale-up community — not to mention the emerging fintech community and the digital pioneers of the banking sector like Barclays — now face a stay-or-go choice with thriving tech scenes in cities such as Berlin and Amsterdam sure to be a temptation."

 Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities issues statement on Brexit

"In light of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the members of the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities affirm the importance of the free movement of students and researchers across Europe. Our current societal, cultural, scientific and economic challenges can only be met through collaboration in the creation and application of knowledge," the statement reads.

Tuition fees, visas and student loans won't be affected, says King's  College London

"Please be assured that, barring unilateral action from the UK  Government, the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there  will be any immediate change to King’s, or to other UK universities’,  participation in EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+, nor to the immigration status of current and prospective EU students and staff."

Aalto University expects Brexit won't have a negative effect on science collboration

"We regret that this result will inevitably bring about a less united Europe. Nonetheless, we believe that current and potential scientific collaborations will continue across borders as they have done over the centuries, regardless of political turns," the University said in a statement.

 KTH professor worried about reputation of research in EU27

Prof. Gunnar Landgren of KTH told Science|Business:

"From an EU27  point of view I would be more worried about the reputation of its own research. On the top 50 list of the THE ranking 2016 EU excl. UK has 6  universities from four countries, UK alone 6 (and Switzerland 2, US 26). On the top 25 list there is no EU 27 university. Even acknowledging all the deficiencies of ranking systems one might be inclined to ask if it is better for the science as such  to be outside EU?"

"There are no boundaries in science," says KU Leuven rector

"We will keep collaborating with our colleagues from the United Kingdom as we have been doing before, and possibly even more," Rik Torfs, rector of KU Levuen told Science|Business.

Brexit also throws a big fat spanner into work in progress in launching the EU’s unified patent, currently promised to go live early in 2017.

The lease has been signed on a new office in London to house the chemistry and pharmaceuticals arm of the unified patent court, but with only EU members eligible to be part of the system, the ribbon may never be cut. Read more:

  Pharma industry calls for taskforce to agree terms of UK withdrawal from the EU

After staging a vigorous campaign to stay in the European Union, the pharma and biotech industry in the UK is reeling at the consequences of the out vote. Read more:

For existing projects, and for new projects under the current 2016/17 work programme of Horizon 2020, there seems no legal reason for any alarm; the UK is still ‘in.’ But top Commission officials should be saying this now, calming the waters

Read more:


"UK researchers not  welcome any more in EU [consortia]," says Pro-Vice-Chancellor for research and innovation at Newcastle University



EU research chief: “My phone has been ringing non-stop.”

Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, told Science|Business:

“At RTD we are all still shocked by what happened! Most of us went to bed on Thursday night with the news that the Remain Camp was in the lead, but when we woke up on Friday...

“My phone has been ringing non- stop. Presidents of UK universities, UK coordinators of H2020 projects and of course my own staff; all are concerned, angry and upset, wondering what this all means for our future cooperation.”

What’s next? 5 Brexit lessons for European research

Focus on bridge-building, open the science cloud, clarify the rules – these are among the steps that the EU should now take to turn the UK’s departure from disaster to opportunity. Read more on

 Institution of Chemical Engineers hopes Brexit won't wreck UK-EU projects on climate change and healthcare

The results of the referendum “must not wreck cooperation with European partners in fields such as climate change and healthcare that engage thousands of chemical engineers across Europe,” said David Brown, chief executive  of IChemE.

“The scientific and engineering community in the UK should press for continued participation in the EU's research and innovation programmes,” Brown added.

British SMEs scramble for cash to mitigate short-term uncertainties, says managing director of Boost Capital

“In the lead-up to the referendum, Boost Capital saw a rush of SMEs applying for bridging finance, anxious about what the vote might mean for their businesses in the short-term, and, vitally, their cashflow,” says managing director Alex Littner.

“It is impossible to predict what the coming months and years will involve for Britain, both in terms of day-to-day business if we do extricate ourselves from the EU, or what the UK economy will look like once the dust has settled,” Littner said.

 Urgent discussion needed to mitigate the impact of Brexit, says the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) 

Following the outcome of the EU referendum to leave the EU, IET is calling for an urgent discussion to mitigate the impacts on the engineering sector – which is vital to the UK’s economy, the iET statement reads.

The IET had published a statement of concern that a vote to leave the EU could result in a number of negative impacts on UK engineering, including exacerbating the UK’s engineering and technology skills shortage by making it more difficult for companies to recruit engineers from other EU countries.

Engineering-based manufacturers say the UK has to have access to the EU's single market

James Selka, CEO of Manufacturing Technologies Association CEO said:

"Maintaining access to the single market is of paramount importance, something widely agreed on across the political spectrum. Great care must be taken during the negotiation process to protect manufacturing’s interests and we will be working hard in the UK and in Brussels for that outcome.

We believe that we can leverage UK manufacturing’s reputation for innovation and flexibility to secure the best possible deal for our members outside the EU.” 

Researchers across Europe voice their post-Brexit worries on Twitter







Astronomer Jim Geach calls for coordination among British scientists who want to influence post-Brexit negotiations with the EU. Sign up here



Staying in Horizon 2020 is the top priority for Britain, tweets Chief executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council 



King's professor writes opinion on how to stop Brexit brain drain

"The first thing concerns the workforce. Since the result became clear, I have received emails from my non U.K. EU colleagues working in institutions across the U.K., seeking reassurance that it will all be OK, and they are not facing imminent deportation. I have heard of no such plans, and think them unlikely," writes Simon Wessely, professor of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London.

  Brexit will create chaos for data privacy rules in UK and EU

"The UK will not automatically implement the EU’s recently passed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)," says Robert Cattanach, partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney.

"Bureaucrats in Brussels are likely to take a particularly dim view of Brexit, and may retaliate by finding the UK’s privacy regulations not sufficiently “adequate” to allow it to continue to mesh freely with the rest of the EU from a privacy perspective.  This would create enormous logistical difficulties – and impose significant expense -  on virtually all companies in the UK that currently transfer personal information between the UK and the rest of the EU seamlessly," Cattanach says.

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) wants post-Brexit access to Horizon 2020       

"The EU has fostered numerous collaborations in science and engineering, including programmes supported by the European Research Council, and the overarching Horizon 2020 Framework, and the UK has been a major beneficiary of these programmes. The Society asks the Government to continue UK participation in all of these, and to make the necessary financial contributions to allow UK groups to lead bids for these funds," the RAS said in a statement.

The RAS says the UK government should now examine Leave campaign's pledge to make good any shortfall in science funding, and work to ensure that UK science continues to receive the support anticipated before the vote took place.

 Genome Analysis Centre excellence depends on free-movement. Director hopes Brexit won't restrict international cooperation

Prof. Neil Hall, Director of The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC), said:

“The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) like all research institutes in the UK  benefits from EU funding but also many of our research staff are non-British EU nationals. Therefore, we currently depend on free-movement to maintain our scientific excellence and competitive edge. The ramifications of this decision will depend very much on what will replace what we have now, and I sincerely hope that the government value the UK’s leading position in research and do not hamstring us by restricting collaboration and cooperation across borders.”

British Pharmacological Society: Drug development and drug regulation will be "particularly chellenging,"

Prof. David Webb, President, British Pharmacological Society, said:

“There are some areas of the relationship between the UK and EU relevant to pharmacology, such as in drug development and drug regulation, that will prove particularly challenging. The Society stands ready to represent and share its members’ considerable expertise in the development of new policy.”

Denmark, Sweden and Italy are competing to poach European Medicines Agency from London, along with 850 high-skill jobs reports

 The UK coordinates more than 1400 projects under Horizon 2020. Over three quarters of these projects are led by universities.

Data from European Commission Cordis, presented in "International Higher Education in Facts and Figures" report.




 Former adviser to conservative MP Michael Gove writes reassuring op-ed in Times Higher Education

"Given that universities have played an important part in the debate, it is understandable that some in the sector may worry about the consequences.I would like to reassure them that on funding, immigration and cooperation there are no immediate concerns, and, in the medium term, I believe leaving the EU can create brighter opportunities for the UK’s universities," says Jamie Martin

Click here to read the full op-ed.

Brexit already has economic ramifications for tech companies

Dietrich Benjes, Vice President of strategic accounts and alliances EMEA at Varonis UK.

"The UK has been the biggest single market for tech in the EU, so many tech companies have their EU HQ’s here or at least a very strong presence. Now that the UK has voted out, the economic ramifications are already being felt and will carry on being felt regardless of the sector.  However, I think there is a very strong and compelling case to remain and further invest in the UK. It’s now down to the government to engage with business and communicate the strength of that case. As long as companies in the UK continue to do business with those in the EU, and they will, then GDPR will still need to be addressed. And regardless of the regulation, the impetus for it – the need to ensure that sensitive information, personal information is secure – remains." 

British private equity firm to assess the impact of Brexit

In a joint statement Alan MacKay, BVCA Chairman, and Tim Hames, BVCA Director General, said:

“The BVCA Council has already discussed the implications of this momentous decision. We intend to inform members about the politics of what will be a lengthy process of negotiating the exit through regular editions of BVCA Insight starting at Noon today, and we will produce an assessment of the key issues for the industry via our Research department early next week and a more detailed analysis of the regulatory, legal and tax implications in the weeks to come. 

 Referendum results are "deeply depressing," says Trinity College fellow

“So the referendum outcome is deeply depressing - a view shared across mainland Europe. Support for the EU was strong, especially among the young, the universities, the technical community, and a majority of our business and professional leaders," says Prof. Lord Martin Rees, Fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

Royal Society of Biology: Research currently enabled by EU funding must continue

Dr Mark Downs, Chief Executive of the Roya Society of Biology said:

“It will be vital to recognise the importance of UK science and scientists as the terms of our EU exit begin to be considered. It is essential that in our next set of economic and policy decisions we keep that in clear view and ensure that good science and research community advice is effectively heard.
"Strong research partnerships with EU-based scientists will continue to be essential for the UK. Ease of exchange and movement of people will remain critical. We must ensure that research currently enabled by EU funding can continue, and we must reassure the brightest and best researchers and students that the rights they have now will continue."

Peter Higgs: Brexit is a "disaster" for British science



"Technical talent in the UK just became a lot cheaper for foreign countries to hire," says Bromium CTO

"Sadly, they will suffer as their standard of living drops, and their opportunity to live and work in other countries in Europe is restricted. Ultimately, I expect many of them to leave the UK permanently for countries that will pay what they are worth, such as the USA," says Simon Crosby, CTO and co-founder of Bromium, a British cyber security company.

"There is another longer term worry: Over a third of research funding for universities in the UK comes from the EU. In the absence of new funding from the UK government, there will be a huge impact on university's ability to deliver highly skilled tech workers to the UK economy," Crosby says.

 CaSE director: Brexit is a real challenge for British science and engineering

“This outcome provides a real challenge for our sector. Science is an area where the relationship between the UK and the EU was particularly beneficial," says Sarah Main, Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

According to Main, science should be on the table when the UK will make its post-Brexit policy decision, in order to keep the science and engineering sector thriving. "CaSE will play our part to ensure that they do,” Main says. 

British Society for Immunology to work on strengthening international collaborations

"The British Society for Immunology will continue to work with funders and decision makers to ensure that these enormously valuable international collaborations continue to shape the future of bioscience and medicine,” says Professor Peter Openshaw, President of BSI.

“Today’s announcement that the UK has voted to leave the European Union reflects public opinion, based on many valid concerns. However, immunology shares with other branches of science an in-built internationalism that must continue to thrive, whatever the political climate," Openshaw says. 

Wellcome Trust funding not dependent on EU support
"Wellcome’s own funding schemes are not dependent on EU support. We are confident that our investment portfolio is well placed to weather market volatility and continue to deliver the cash flow to fund our mission. Wellcome has an AAA/Aaa (stable) credit rating from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s,”  the Wellcome Trust said.

Irish universities won't be immediately affected by Brexit, despite concerns over sluggish international cooperation

Trinity Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast said:

“Trinity has always considered itself a university for the island of Ireland. The issue of fees for students from Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK should not be allowed to become a problem that will hinder students from studying in the Republic. It is equally important for the future of scholarship and research that some mechanism is found to ensure the UK’s decision to leave the EU does not harm research collaboration between universities here and in Britain.”

Rolls Royce: "The the UK's decision will have no immediate impact on our day-to-day business"

Quote from Rolls Royce's official statement:

"It is important to remember that Rolls-Royce is a global company: two thirds of our revenue and three quarters of our order book is generated outside the European Union, so the UK's decision will have no immediate impact on our day-to-day business. The medium and long term effect will depend upon the relationships that are established between the UK, the EU and the rest of the world over the coming years." 

British IT security company calls for caution as cyber attacks may increase after the vote

Brexit will have impact on the IT security industry says Aftab Afzal, senior vice-president at NSFOCUS. "With the vote being so close, the unrest will translate into some increased cyber attacks and organisations at the forefront should take extra caution," says Afzal.

The UK economy has to be 'carefully managed' to keep its lead in innovation

Dame Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said:

“The UK has a globally excellent and highly productive research and innovation base, to which EU support, both financial and non-financial, has contributed. Engineering contributes at least 20% of the UK’s gross value added and accounts for half our exports. It is vital that the economy is carefully managed in the wake of the Brexit vote in order to maintain our world-leading position in innovation and industrial development.” 

UK scientists need guarantee on EU funding and visa status for EU scientists, says chief executive of Microbiology Society
Dr Peter Cotgreave, Chief Executive, Microbiology Society, said:

“This result is concerning for UK science. The UK has received significant research funding from the EU and as the negotiations surrounding the UK’s exit begin, it is imperative that the British Government considers how this funding shortfall will be addressed. UK scientists will need reassurance that their funding will continue and information on how Brexit will affect the visa statuses of their EU colleagues."

 Cambridge, UCL, Oxford and Imperial are the top four recipients of Horizon 2020 money in the UK

Cambridge professor hopes the UK will maintain levels of EU research funding until 2020

"Neither the Remain or Leave campaigns were critical of EU science funding. Both recognise science’s position as a key driver of UK growth and innovation. The Leave campaign pledged to maintain levels of funding equivalent to EU funding until at least 2020," says Dame Athene Donald, Professor of experimental physics and Master of Churchill College, Cambridge  

Vote sets UK up for two year-long negotiation on terms of withdrawal, funding uncertainty for universities and concern about the future standing of British science

The UK contributed nearly €5.4 billion to EU research projects from 2007 to 2013, but received nearly €8.8 billion back in the same period. 

Brexit "blasts a hole in the nascent Energy Union," says University of Glasgow professor

"The vote to leave the EU introduces deformities and uncertainties into the UK energy sector at a particularly disadvantageous moment. It blasts a hole in the nascent EU Energy Union, which had been intended to achieve the connectivity needed to overcome some of the challenges of variability in renewable power generation," says Prof. Paul Younger FREng, Professor of Energy Engineering at the University of Glasgow.

"As the UK has the lion’s share of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal current power resources, uncertainties over connectivity to such a large market introduces doubts that will inevitably damage investor confidence," says Younger.

British pharma companies respond to referendum results


"Although the EU Referendum result creates uncertainty and potentially complexity for us in the future, we do not currently anticipate a material adverse impact on the business, Group's results or financial position. We will continue to operate as usual and will engage in the process ahead. We look forward to working closely with all relevant stakeholders. Our priority continues to be ensuring patient access to our medicines, vaccines and consumer products across the world."

"We believe that the UK remaining in the EU would be in the best interests of patients, our industry & our company, but we respect the democratic decision reached in this referendum. Clearly, there will now be a protracted period of transition and we will engage with all the relevant stakeholders to safeguard the competitiveness of the life sciences industry and the speed of patient access to innovative medicines"

UK government has to make sure EU research staff and students can carry on at British universities

Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK (UUK) President said:

“Our first priority will be to convince the UK Government to take steps to ensure staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at British universities and to promote the UK as a welcoming destination for the brightest and best minds.“They make a powerful contribution to university research and teaching and have a positive impact on the British economy and society. We will also prioritise securing opportunities for our researchers and students to access vital pan-European programmes and build new global networks.”  

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, and former President of Science Europe said:

“Given the political uncertainties arising from the vote, another question will be how it will affect the passage through parliament of the Higher Education and Research Bill. Since provisions in the Bill represent a fundamental shift in the HE and research landscape, the sector will need to know as soon as possible the implications for this legislation.

"Every effort must be made both by the government and our universities to counter any impression that this result means that the UK has become  less welcoming as a study or work destination for international students and staff."

League of European research universities is concerned with referendum results



Brexit puts the common European academic landscape under threat

Martin Paul, President of Maastricht University writes in Times Higher Education:

“With an exit from a common European academic ecosystem we could end up no longer building on each other’s academic strengths. If we simply all are thrown back into our own country’s politics, then we will find it more difficult to be visible. And that is not a good perspective. Because the real competition will be coming from India, from China and other emerging countries where strong academic structures are developing with great speed.”

Brexit will be a "nightmare" for businesses

Professor Christian Stadler, author of Enduring Success said:

"In the long term if the UK follows the Swiss model, which is essentially adopting EU regulation minus having a say in the decisions, this would be the better option for businesses as it puts dealing with the EU more or less back to where it is at the moment.

"If the UK takes a tougher stance on immigration, for businesses this will be a disaster as the EU will retaliate. Access to the EU will become difficult. For some companies this means doing business in Europe won’t be attractive any more. Others will have to deal with complicated bureaucracy. In short: a nightmare." 

Rough times ahead for British SMEs

Professor Stephen Roper, Director of the Enterprise Research Centre said:

"Small businesses need to prepare for a period of volatility as markets react. Gains in terms of reduced regulation and EU membership costs may follow, but are probably some years off."

"Over the next few weeks a weakening of sterling will help exporters, but will make euro imports more expensive, raising all small firms’ input costs. Interest rates too may need to rise raising business borrowing costs. Longer term, European firms may also switch orders away from the UK to insulate themselves from any changes in trading relations between Britain and the EU." 

David Price, UCL Vice-Provost: Brexit likely to be disaster for UK research



 EUA to keep working with universities in the UK: "The Europe of universities will not be divided!"


Quote from EUA's official statement:

"Regardless of the result of the referendum, British universities are and remain an essential part of the European family of universities, which extends beyond EU borders. This community of knowledge and learning is strong and longstanding, and it will surely overcome this crisis, although the questions and consequences of the British exit are certainly formidable. EUA will continue to work with and for British universities. The Europe of universities will not be divided!”


The UK should not be kicked out of the European research family

Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick said:

“I will be arguing that even without membership of the EU, the UK should be a part of the European research family, as Norway and Switzerland currently are. In this work, we will be much helped by being inside a Europe wide body of research intensive universities" 

Research needs to tap new funding sources, says Robert Lechler, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences
"This is a very disappointing outcome for medical science. The scientific community needs to send a strong message that we are still open for business. As part of this, research will need access to funding sources to replace those put at risk by exiting the EU, as well as clear plans to maintain access to European research talent and mechanisms for scientific collaboration," said Lechler.

Biochemical Society: Working with Europe benefits the UK

Prof Steve Busby, Chair of the Biochemical Society Executive Committee, said:

“The referendum result is disappointing, as membership of the EU has brought many benefits to UK science. It is important that the Government recognises the value of molecular bioscience to the UK economy and prioritises maintaining important European collaborations and alliances that can only be of benefit to the country and the research community.”

Political changes won't hold back excellent research and innovation

In a message to Imperial's student and staff community, President Alice Gast and Provost James Stirling said:

"We are determined that political changes will not hold Imperial back from delivering excellence in research and education for the benefit of global society.

"We are urgently seeking clarification from the government on the visa and fee status of non-UK European Union students, as well as other key policy areas for the College as the UK negotiates its future relationship with Europe.”

University of Manchester keeps calm & carries on

Quote from their official statement:

"Leaving the EU will not happen overnight and we expect there to be a gradual, managed exit process with significant opportunities for the university to work with our partners to seek assurances and influence future policy."

Cambridge Vice-Chancellor says the University is disappointed with referendum results

    Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz: “We note this result with disappointment. My position on this issue is well known, but 52% of voters in the Referendum disagreed. We will work with our partners in business, research and academia, as well as our European partners and the Government, to understand the implications of this outcome.”

      Prof. Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said:

          “There is no way I can pretend to be anything other than dispirited and disappointed. I hope that ways will be found to reassure all those non UK EU citizens who work in science or the NHS that their futures are secure here, and that we will make sure that whatever happens the UK remains an attractive place for others to come and help take medical science and the NHS forward.” 


            Former EU Chief Scientific Adviser is heartbroken and concerned about the future of British science

              Dame Anne Glover, Vice-Principal External Affairs & Dean for Europe, University of Aberdeen, said:

              “I am personally heartbroken and I have great concern for the future of British science, engineering and technology. Our success in research and resulting impact relies heavily on our ability to be a full part of European Union science arrangements and it is hard to see how they can be maintained upon a Brexit. I feel particularly badly for the 18-24 year olds who voted overwhelmingly to remain, perhaps because their knowledge of the EU was rather deeper from their recent education than for the older population.”

                Universities to work very hard to prevent damage, says Julia King of Aston University

                    "UK universities are very successful in winning funding from European Union programmes – it will must be a priority for Government to ensure we remain a participant in these programmes after leaving the Union.  European researchers and academics are a key element of the success of UK universities in international league tables – losing them would be a significant blow to one of the UK’s strongest performing ‘export’ sectors," says Aston.

                    "We will have to work very hard to ensure that this decision does not damage the quality of our research and the international standing of our university sector," she added.

                      University College London not sure yet how Brexit will affect its activities

                            “UCL […] recognises the huge impact of EU membership on universities such as UCL, particularly around the mobility of students and funding of research. At this early stage, there is no certainty on how leaving the EU will affect the multiplicity of relationships and activities that UK universities engage in. The timetable for any amendments to current arrangements affecting fees for EU students and research funding is currently unclear.”

                              King's College London: Brexit won't affect participation in Horizon 2020


                                “King’s remains totally committed to global interactions in research and education and, where possible, increasing close academic relationships with other European nations. […] Please be assured that […] the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate change to King’s […] participation in EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 […].”

                                  Innovate UK to 'continue business as usual'

                                      Nick Evans of Innovate UK said: 

                                      "At Innovate UK we are continuing our business as usual work, supporting innovative businesses right across the country. We are working with colleagues in Government and beyond to assess next steps and will communicate further with our customers about any impact on our work as soon as we are able."

                                        The Chair of Science and Technology Committee says "the Treasury may have to reallocate funds" to make up for the lost research funds from the EU

                                            Nicola Blackwood MP said:

                                            “The British people have voted to leave the European Union and we must respect the outcome of the referendum. Inevitably there will be significant uncertainty over the terms of the UK’s future settlement with the EU. It is vital that the Government moves quickly to reassure our scientists and their collaborators in Europe that the UK remains firmly open for business as a willing and reliable partner. If EU research funding is affected after the exit negotiations that follow, the Treasury may have to reallocate funds previously sent to the EU.”

                                              BioCity CEO "deeply concerned" about the impact of Brexit

                                                  CEO of BioCity Dr Glenn Crocker (MBE) - author of BioCity UK Life Science Start-Up Report said:

                                                  "I am deeply concerned about the impact on UK research and on funding for small companies, both of which have benefited greatly from EU support. I am also concerned about the impact on the free movement of labour and the restriction on the skills base if the UK turns inwards.

                                                  "I find it very disheartening that I live in a country where the majority of people are so opposed to openness and collaboration based on some misguided view of Britain of over 100 years ago, however we will have to make the best of the situation and BioCity will strive to do that."

                                                    Royal Society: In Brexit talks, don’t damage ‘free exchange of people and ideas’

                                                        Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said:

                                                        “…We need to continue to welcome researchers and students from abroad. Any failure to maintain the free exchange of people and ideas between the UK and the international community including Europe could seriously harm UK science…. ”Many global challenges can only be tackled by countries working together and it is easier to work together when policy and regulation are consistent.  In negotiating a new relationship with the EU we must ensure that we do not put unnecessary barriers in place that will inhibit collaborations.”

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