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Canada to sign Horizon Europe association deal next year

Deal announced at EU-Canada summit opens door to wider transatlantic collaboration in research, energy, digital and other fields. Wanted now: ‘transformative discoveries’ by working together, EU president says.

After lengthy negotiations, the EU and Canada reached agreement for Canadian researchers to join Horizon Europe research programme from next year.

The deal was announced at an EU-Canada summit in St. John’s, Newfoundland 24 November as part of a package of expanded trade cooperation that includes research, energy, digital, aerospace and other fields.

Regarding research, the tone was almost triumphant.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Canada’s joining Horizon Europe, which is the greatest research and innovation mechanism in the world right now.”  Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, was similarly ebullient at a press briefing, saying the deal will bring researchers from the two sides of the North Atlantic closer and she is already anticipating “the innovative breakthroughs and transformative discoveries that will emerge from our joint projects.”

Both leaders, however, were charry with details about the deal – apparently in part because administrative details have yet to be fully resolved.  Von der Leyen said, “we expect the agreement will be signed soon, before mid next year.  And once this is done, researchers in Canada will be able to receive funding from Horizon.” Later, however, EU officials told Science|Business they may put in place a “transitional arrangement” so the Canadian grant applications can start earlier in 2024 – though they still won’t have any money disbursed until the formal signing. 

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