EU Referendum

Reality Check: Does the UK get 15% of EU R&D funding?

Quote from Tom Watson: The EU invests £11bn a year on manufacturing innovation programmes of which 15% are invested here in the UK

Speaking at a Labour In event on 8 April, deputy leader Tom Watson argued that British workers and British manufacturing companies benefit from European Union membership.

He made a specific claim about EU money: "The EU invests £11bn a year on manufacturing innovation programmes of which 15% are invested here in the UK."

He should actually have said €11bn (£9bn), not pounds.

The money in question comes from the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, which has a budget of almost €80bn over seven years running from 2014 to 2020, or just over €11bn a year. The money is paid to support research and innovation projects in companies, universities and other research organisations.

Horizon 2020 replaced the previous innovation funding programme known as FP7. According to a report by consultants at Deloitte, 14.9% of FP7 funding came to the UK. And an analysis of early awards under Horizon 2020 suggests that it's about the same for Horizon 2020. Only Germany receives more. For reference, the UK's population is between 12.5% and 13% of the EU total.

The European Commission maintains a list of projects that have made successful applications. In the UK, they include quite a number from the bio-medical sciences sector - perhaps not what initially comes to mind when you think of manufacturing industry - but they're certainly technology-focused. And more money from Horizon 2020 is going to small and medium companies than under previous programmes.

Reality Check Verdict: Confusion between pounds and euros, but otherwise fair enough


READ MORE: The facts behind claims in the EU debate


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