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Here it Comes

With Prime Minister Theresa May expected to touch off the two-year process for the UK to leave the European Union within days, ScienceInsider reports that researchers in Britain are trying to come up with ways to ease the transition.

"People are bracing themselves for a bumpier and more abrupt landing," James Wilsdon from the University of Sheffield tells ScienceInsider.

The UK receives some €7 billion in research funding from EU coffers, and Britain aims to fill some of that void with new programs, ScienceInsider says. For instance, the UK government recently announced that it would spend an extra £4.7 billion on applied research over the next four years. This year's portion of £270 million is to support robotics, electric vehicle battery, and drug manufacturing research, and another £300 million is to support fellowships, grants for international researchers, and graduate students.

While the University of Manchester's Kieron Flanagan says he was "flabbergasted" when he heard about the new investment, the Royal Astronomical Society's Robert Massey worries that fundamental research will be overlooked.

Other ideas proffered to cope with Brexit include recreating UK versions of popular EU funding programs as well as to make it easier for research talent from the US and China to come to the UK to make up for the loss of European researchers, ScienceInsider adds.

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