EUREKA Eurostars is a European programme for SMEs that supports and funds international collaborative research and development projects. This funding competion is aimed at innovative SMEs wanting to take part in collaborative research with partners across Europe and associated countries. Innovate UK manage UK applications. Small businesses working on high-quality research and development projects across national borders often find it difficult to attract public-sector funding. Eurostars was set up to overcome this barrier to innovation. (The guidance has been updated to refelect a change to UK eligibility criteria for the competition.)
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If you are working with SMEs, you may know that Eurostars is a scheme which assists small businesses to access funding.
Eurostars supports international innovative projects led by research and development- performing small- and medium-sized enterprises (R&D-performing SMEs). With its bottom-up approach, Eurostars supports the development of rapidly marketable innovative products, processes and services that help improve the daily lives of people around the world. Eurostars has been carefully developed to meet the specific needs of SMEs. It is an ideal first step in international cooperation, enabling small businesses to combine and share expertise and benefit from working beyond national borders.
Eurostars is a joint programme between EUREKA and the European Commission, co-funded from the national budgets of 36 Eurostars Participating States and Partner Countries and by the European Union through Horizon 2020. In the 2014-2020 period it has a total public budget of €1.14 billion.
The role of SMEs for the economy has never been so important. Eurostars aims to bring increased value to the economy, higher growth and more job opportunities.
If you are working with a research-active business or have the opportunity to contact a potential industrial partner undertaking research, this site and the explanatory video found there, might just be the good news they have been waiting to hear!
N.B. As universities are not eligible to be funded through this competition in the UK, such partners must be in a position to self-fund. In addition, to be an eligible project, an SME has to do at least 50% of the work and no one partner or country can do more than 75% of the work. The university input, therefore, is limited and the partnering activity may be approved through benefits in kind, such as reputational, access to SME and relationship building, further joint funding strategy with the company, and academic experience of working with an industrial partner. These factors will need to be considered alongside the 0% fEC return.