New figures show that sixteen projects at three East Midlands universities and research centres receive funds from the European Research Council (ERC) and would be put at risk if the UK were to leave the European Union.
The figures, compiled by the House of Commons Library, also show that the UK has more ERC funded projects than any other country, accounting for 22 per cent of all ERC funded projects – more than 25 recipient countries put together.
Loughborough University, the University of Nottingham and the University of Leicester have all received ERC funds and future research projects at these universities are at risk if the UK leaves the European Union.
The €1.7 billion of ERC funds are part of much wider EU support for research, development and innovation projects. In total, between 2007 and 2013 UK universities received €4.9 billion from EU funds and analysis by the Royal Society has shown that the UK benefits from a net gain of EU research funds of €3.4 billion.
Commenting, Angela Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow First Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills:
“These figures highlight the risk to our universities of the UK leaving the European Union.
“EU funded research at the UK’s leading universities has led to vital scientific discoveries, including potential treatments for cancer and heart disease.
“Leaving the EU would put at risk this funding stream and undermine the UK’s world-leading university sector, putting our competitive advantage and highly-skilled jobs at risk.”