Eurostars research funding for SMEs

Eurostars is an EU research funding programme targeted at SMEs.

SMEs are responsible for much of the innovation in our economies. However, one challenge they face is access to funding for their research activities.

Eurostars is a EUR 400-million Europe-wide programme set up to fund SME-driven research and development (R&D) activities in 24 of the EU’s Member States, plus Iceland, Israel, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. The programme is open to consortia of research-oriented enterprises from these 29 countries. It aims to encourage these SMEs – which have to invest more than 10% of their annual turnover into R&D to be eligible – to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects by easing access to support and funding.

“The role of the SME participants in the project should be significant. At least 50% of the project’s core activity should be carried out by SMEs,” Eurostars explains. “The consortium should be well balanced, which means that no participant or country will be required to invest more than 75% of the total project costs.”

The projects funded by Eurostars are market-driven. This means that the projects must have a maximum duration of three years and, within two years after that, an application or product should be ready for market launch. The exception to this rule applies to biomedical or medical projects, where clinical trials must be started within two years of project completion.

Eurostars is open for continuous funding applications, with an average of two submission deadlines each year. The next deadline for submissions is 21 November 2008.

The EU supports the initiative with EUR 100 million from the Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), while an additional EUR 300 million comes from participating countries.

See also: Eurostars website


Author: EARSC

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