On Monday, the European Commission signed an Implementing Arrangement with the USA, allowing American legal entities to work with Horizon 2020-funded consortia outside of the scope of the Horizon 2020 grant agreement.
As previously reported by UKRO, the IA mirrors the one signed with Canada in June this year and allows public research organisations and universities in the US that cannot accede to Horizon 2020 grant agreements for legal reasons to collaborate with EU consortia outside of the legal framework of the EU programme for research and innovation. American organisations that do not receive EU funding and do not sign the grant agreement will be able to approach consortia on Horizon 2020 projects and agree with them the modalities of mutually beneficial collaboration. The Implementing Arrangement stipulates that each side will be subject to the laws, rules, policies, and regulations of their respective funding programs rather than being required to accept the EU set of rules.
The move is seen as a major step towards resolving the problem of public organisations from the US not being able to participate in EU research programmes because they cannot sign the grant agreement, which requires them to accept EU law – a situation often unacceptable under the US legal system. The problem currently affects around 40% of all US participants on Horizon 2020 projects.
The new agreement, although not legally binding and not creating rights and obligations on the parties concerned, is expected to pave the way for improved collaboration between American research organisations and their European counterparts.
American participants in Horizon 2020 projects that do receive EU funding, are still required to sign the grant agreement and follow the rules of the programme.