Philip Dunne welcomed the opening of negotiations with the EU for the UK to associate with Horizon Europe for R&D cooperation for researchers at universities across the UK, and highlighted the importance of leveraging the research capabilities of our universities and industries that work with them to innovate. He cited the example of Imperial College London whose researchers worked with over 160 partner organisations in 24 countries in Europe on the Graphene Core 3 project, which spawned Bramble Energy.
Philip Dunne (Ludlow) (Con)
I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing the debate. It is important that we talk about the significance of Horizon; I am sure that he will go on to welcome the fact that negotiations with the EU have now been reopened by the Government, and I am sure that the Minister will be able to talk to that when he sums up.
On collaboration, let me give the hon. Member one other pertinent example, which has come to my attention as a result of the Environmental Audit Committee’s work with universities, not just in the golden triangle but including the hon. Gentleman’s university in Sheffield. Imperial College was host to our 25th-anniversary celebration the other day, and the president gave me a good example of the reach that Horizon has given the UK, specifically in collaboration. He talked about the graphene core 3 project, which had 160 partner organisations across 24 countries; allowed the UK research community to compete with the US and China, which have significant infrastructure themselves; and helped to spin out Bramble Energy, an industrial company that is developing graphene. The industrial connections are important as well.