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No less than 350 CEOs and managers from European small companies have signed a letter of support to the Eurostars Programme, the first Europe-wide funding programme specially designed to support small and medium-sized businesses engaged in innovation and research. With two cut-offs per year, a simple application form and a fast evaluation, Eurostars is a low red tape programme fitting the needs of small companies.
The letter has been sent to key European desicion-makers as part of a movement of support to one of the few sources of funding in Europe to be dedicated to SMEs. Entrepreneurs making clear in their letter that their research projects, aiming at the creation of new technological projects would not have happeend without Eurostars. As part of the 7th Framework Programme, Eurostars is now coming to an end under its current form and should be extended under the Horizon 2020 flagship programme of the European Union, the world biggest support programme for research to be launched in 2014.
The battle for securing the budget necessary for the functionning of the Eurostars Programme is nonetheless ongoing. Thesuccessor of the current funding instrument shall be built upon the success of the running programme. It will also aim to reach a shorter time to contract, and a leaner and simplified administration.
The next Eurostars call deadline is 4 April 2013.