Bosses at a Sheffield University research centre, which has partnerships with huge companies including Rolls-Royce and Boeing, have spoken out ahead of the looming Brexit vote.
The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Catcliffe Rotherham has 23 tier one members - including BAE Systems and Airbus - who pay £200,000-a-year for membership and influence the direction of research and can propose projects.
It also has 63 tier two members who participate in, and obtain the results of, all generic projects.
Colin Sirett, chief executive of the AMRC, said: “EU investment and research funding has helped make the AMRC a reality. “Our industrial partners have the option to invest in research anywhere in the world, but these investment decisions are taken where the best economic climate and capability exists for their research.”
Prof Keith Ridgway, executive dean of the AMRC, said: “The Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham has benefited greatly from EU regional development funds.
“At the AMRC, we actively participate with universities throughout Europe and employ over 20 staff from across the European Union, so we benefit greatly from their knowledge, expertise and culture.”
Their comments come after a host of big companies have spoken out or contacted staff about the referendum vote on June 23.
Rolls-Royce has written to employees to say it believes it will be better if Britain stays in the EU.
Chief executive Warren East said it would “better for employees, customers and suppliers”.
Tata Steel has set out its position in a letter to employees.