This report, commissioned by the National Academies, reflects the importance of EU funding across all academic disciplines, industrial sectors, organisation types, and across the whole innovation pipeline.

The publication also provides a breakdown of the EU funding that is received across the different regions and devolved nations of the UK, while highlighting research that is uniquely funded by the EU. The analysis brings together available evidence from a combination of secondary data sources and primary research conducted through a programme of targeted interviews.


  • The totality of EU Framework Programmes for research & innovation and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) provided UK organisations with around €9bn in grants between 2007 and 2013 (€7bn and €1.9bn respectively).
  • In the current programming period (2014-2020), these two sources of EU funding have provided UK organisations with income of circa €1.1bn a year; amounting to more than 10% of total government support for UK-based research & innovation, in turn accounting for 5% of UK gross domestic expenditure on R&D.
  • Additionally, estimates show that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided €5.9bn in loans for research & innovation-related activities to UK organisations in the period 2007-2016, including €2.8bn for UK universities and knowledge transfer services.
  • Within academia, the natural and physical sciences dominate the amounts of EU funding received. In 2014/15, five subject areas collected around £366m in EU research income, representing 50% of total EU funding to Higher Education Institutes. These subjects are Clinical medicine (£119m), Biosciences (£90m), Physics (£55m), Chemistry (£54m) and IT (£46m).

To read the case studies associated with this research, please click here. To read more publications from the National Academies, visit the Royal Society website.