South Korea is the latest country outside the EU to associate to Horizon Europe, it has been announced.

The signing of the association agreement is expected to take place in the second half of this year, enabling South Korea’s participation in Horizon Europe from 2025. Association to Horizon Europe is the closest form of international cooperation in science and technology between the EU and a non-EU country.

Once signed, researchers and organisations in South Korea will be able to receive funding under pillar II of the Horizon programme, which is primarily focused on shared global challenges such as climate, energy, digital economy and health and has a budget of €53.5 billion (£46 billion) – the programme has an overall budget of €95.5 billion between 2021–27.

According to the European Commission, South Korea formally expressed its interest to associate to Horizon Europe on 14 February 2022. Cooperation with South Korea is a priority for the EU due to the potential for mutual benefit in a range of areas, including artificial intelligence and antimicrobial resistance.

‘I am happy to welcome Korea into the Horizon family,’ said Iliana Ivanova, commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth. ‘This is a milestone for our cooperation and great news for global science and innovation. Together, we will be able to tackle global challenges more effectively.’