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With a budget of €95 billion, Horizon Europe is a planned 7-year European Union scientific research initiative designed to tackle climate change. The initiative aims to support UN sustainable development goals as well as boost competitiveness and growth within the EU. The UK and Switzerland have now lost access to the research program – the UK due to Brexit and Switzerland when bilateral talks with the EU collapsed last year.


In order to try and convince EU politicians to review their decision to exclude the UK and Switzerland from Horizon Europe, two of the top Swiss Universities – The EPFL in Lausanne and the ETH in Zurich have now joined the “Stick to Science” initiative with leading Universities from the UK calling for open and free collaboration in Europe irrespective of barriers.

Stick to Science is an online signature campaign which is petitioning for an open and inclusive research arena for Europe. The initiative is supported by several leading scientific associations and organisations within the EU. These include: Science Europe, the European University Association and the Guild of European Research Intensive Universities.

  • The initiative is an active response to the delay in progression of agreements for the UK and Switzerland, which they claim is being held up by political barriers.
  • 3’500 signatories are requesting the EU parliamentary commission, EU members states as well as the UK and Swiss governments recognise that research and innovation are best achieved when all bodies involved in science work together irrespective of geographic or political boundaries.
  • The signatories are urging the EU and the UK and Swiss governments to reach agreement as quickly as possible, so that the UK and Switzerland can contribute both scientifically as well as financially to the Horizon Europe initiative.



Those wishing to support the initiative can support in several ways from simply signing as a supporter to inviting others to join or by sharing ideas. Those interested should visit

The UK and Switzerland have 5 out of the top 10 universities world wide and 7 out of the top 20.

Logic would suggest that given the number of top ranked universities located in the UK and Switzerland as well as the financial standing of the two nations, that the Horizon Project would only be too willing to  welcome the two financially sound and intellectually rich nations into the Horizon Project.  But to date, this seems rather not to be the case.

But all is not lost it seems and as the Stick to Science initiative gains momentum both from within, as well as outside of the EU, perhaps it won’t be too long before political barriers give way to open border thinking – which ultimately could be for the benefit of global climate change and sustainable development.

Members from both sides of the argument might benefit to pay attention to the words of Winston Churchill when he addressed the Congress of Europe at the Hague in May 1948 – “This is not a movement of parties, but a movement of people. There is no room for jealousies. If there is rivalry of parties, let it be to see which one will distinguish itself the most for the common cause”.


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