A new fund set up by the Scottish Government aims to “reinvigorate and repair” research links with Europe following Brexit.
Ministers are committing £3 million for the new Saltire Research Awards – with hundreds of European research and innovation projects expected to benefit from the cash.
Projects will be able to apply for funding under the scheme, which will be run by the Scottish Funding Council and Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Higher and further education minister, Jamie Hepburn, said: “Scotland’s excellence in research and innovation is one of our greatest assets and our international connections are vital to maintaining and extending this.
“Many of our most effective collaborations are with partners in Europe and our new £3 million fund will help Scotland reinvigorate and repair vital research partnerships with Europe following the uncertainty caused by Brexit in recent years.
“This is crucial especially for our successful participation in Horizon Europe.”
Horizon Europe is the European Union’s flagship funding programme for research and innovation – with a budget of 95.5 billion euros set aside for the scheme which has tackling climate change as one of its core aims.
Scotland won about 755 million euros under the predecessor scheme, Horizon 2020, over the period 2014 to2020 – making it one of the most successful nations for funding applications.
Mr Hepburn continued: “Research collaboration has been crucial during the pandemic and will continue to be critical in addressing the net-zero transition and other global challenges.
“Scotland’s future continues to firmly include European research collaboration and now is the time to help our researchers grow these important partnerships.”
Karen Watt, chief executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Collaboration with European institutions has been vital for Scotland’s world-leading status in university research and their success in winning European research grants and contracts.
“The funding announced today will help keep those research partnerships going and enable us to attract top international research talent.
“We very much welcome this funding and look forward to the impact it will have across the sector.”
Meanwhile, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, interim President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh said that the new programme would “play an important role in supporting research excellence and maintaining Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in research”.
She stated: “We look forward to working with the Scottish Government and Scottish Funding Council to making the awards a success.”