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Impact of Brexit on research projects, including data exchange

Brexit could have an impact on some joint research projects and activities. We suggest that you review existing contracts involving UK partners and secure legal advice when entering into new contracts.

Reread existing contracts

Brexit does not invalidate contracts willingly entered into by parties in the UK and the Netherlands. However, we recommend that you carefully reread your contracts with British partner institutions to see if there are any provisions referring to EU directives, or provisions that might be affected by Brexit.

Contact IXA’s grant support office to discuss potential risks.

New contracts

When entering into new contracts, you are advised to consult IXA’s grant support office for a review of legal and financial risks, particularly if intellectual property rights are involved and/or if the contract will be subject to UK law.

EU funding

British researchers are likely to retain access to FP8 (Horizon2020, including ERC grants), for the remainder of its seven-year term. 
Only if Britain acquires the status of ‘associated country’ will it be able to participate in FP9 almost to the full, in the way that a number of associated countries such as Switzerland or Israel do. As an associated country, partners in the UK could assume the role of coordinator in research projects and of principal investigator in ERC grants.

Data protection

Uncertainty exists with regard to data now protected under the GDPR (AVG). The draft deal provides for continued data protection beyond Brexit day. Without a deal, the UK should also be expected to adhere to the GDPR after Brexit given that the GDPR came into force in March 2017, when the UK had already decided to withdraw from the EU.

We recommend that contracts involving data exchange with institutions or companies in the UK be checked by legal counsel. The UK is to be considered as a 'third country' after Brexit which means that you should apply the Standard Contractual Clauses issued by the European Commission.

For further questions, please send an email to