South Korea to Officially Join EU’s Horizon Europe Science & Research Program

South Korea Asia Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 03, 2024

European Union flag

South Korea will officially join Horizon Europe, the European Union’s biggest funding program for research and innovation, becoming the first East Asian country to participate in the program, the EU Commission has announced.

The agreement was reached between Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Iliana Ivanova and Korean Minister for Science and Information and Communication Technology Lee Jong Ho, reports.

Ivanova described the deal as “a significant milestone” and great news for worldwide science and innovation.

“I am happy to welcome Korea into the Horizon family. This is a milestone for our cooperation and great news for global science and innovation. Together, we will be able to tackle global challenges more effectively,” Ivanova said.

The agreement will be signed in the second half of 2024 after all the necessary ratification procedures are completed, offering South Korean researchers plenty of opportunities.

From 2025 onwards, researchers and organizations in South Korea will be able to receive funding under the program’s Pillar II, which aims to support research related to issues such as climate, health, bioeconomy, natural resources, and more.

Pillar II is the largest collaborative part of the programme, which is primarily focused on shared global challenges: climate, energy, digital economy, and health, with a budget of €53.5 billion,” the EU Commission’s press release reads.

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key research and innovation program, with a budget of €95.5 billion (US$103 billion), running until 2027. South Korea expressed its intentions to join the program on February 14 through a letter submitted during the 7th meeting of the Joint Science & Technology Cooperation Committee.

As of January this year, the United Kingdom is also an associated country with Horizon Europe, a decision that open doors for UK researchers who were restricted for nearly three years due to increased political tensions. For its association, the UK will contribute about €2.43 billion per year on average to the EU budget.

Less than a year has passed since New Zealand became the first country outside Europe to join the program. The agreement, signed on July 9, 2023, paved the way for New Zealand and the EU to boost bilateral collaboration in research and innovation.

After New Zealand, Canada is expected to become the second country outside Europe to participate in Horizon Europe. Its association with the program is also expected to happen in the middle of this year. Japan might also choose to participate.

© Markus Spiske | Unsplash

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