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British Society for Immunology response to publication of Smith–Reid Review

Research funding5 November 2019

Today, the Government has published the Adrian Smith – Graeme Reid Review into future frameworks for international collaboration on research and innovation. This report, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and produced by Professor Sir Adrian Smith and Professor Graeme Reid, provides independent advice on the design of UK funding schemes for international collaboration, innovation and research, including recommendations should the UK not be associated with Horizon Europe post-Brexit.

In response, the British Society for Immunology has released the following statement. 

Professor Arne Akbar, President of the British Society for Immunology, said:

“The UK is a world-leader in scientific research, with particular excellence in areas such as immunology and genomics, and we must go all out to maintain this status in the long-term, which will drive our economy and lead to new life-changing and life-saving innovations both in medical and other sectors. Associating the UK with Horizon Europe after Brexit is always going to be the preferential choice of the scientific community, both for the funding it provides but also crucially for the international networks and collaborations that it generates, which are so important for driving forward innovative, cutting-edge research.

“We’re pleased to see that today’s publication of the Smith–Reid Review recognises the importance of our association with Horizon Europe, but also explores alternatives options should this not be possible. Of particular importance are the new funding stream options presented, recognition that substantial support of basic research is needed and that international networks need to be preserved and built on. However, as the review highlights, significant levels of planning are needed before the UK would be in a position to implement any of these initiatives and it’s key that work is started now on this to ensure an uninterrupted workstream should we not associate with Horizon Europe.

“For scientific endeavour to flourish, we need long-term stability in funding and networks to oversee the meticulous and precise scientific studies, which often take years to come to fruition. Immunology shares with other branches of science an in-built internationalism that must continue to thrive, whatever the political climate.”

You can read the full report 'Changes and choices: advice on future frameworks for international collaboration on research and innovation' here.

You can download our response to the Adrian Smith call for evidence on future frameworks for international collaboration on research and innovation here

For further enquiries, please contact:

Jennie Evans, British Society for Immunology
Tel: 0203 019 5912; Mob: 07773 807 444; Email: