The Eurostars Programme is a joint programme between EUREKA and the European Commission and the first European funding and support programme to be specifically dedicated to research-performing SMEs. Eurostars stimulates them to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects by easing access to support and funding.
The Eurostars Programme is a European Joint Programme dedicated to the R&D performing SMEs, and co-funded by the European Communities and 36 EUREKA member countries. Eurostars aims to stimulate these SMEs to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects by easing access to support and funding. It is fine-tuned to focus on the needs of SMEs, and specifically targets the development of new products, processes and services and the access to transnational and international markets. Through this joint Programme, based on Article 185 of the Lisbon Treaty, Eurostars aims to combine the best of two worlds with a bottom-up approach, a central submission and evaluation process, and synchronized national funding in 36 countries. Eurostars projects are collaborative, meaning they must involve at least two participants (legal entities) from two different Eurostars participating countries. In addition, the main participant must be a research-performing SME from one of these countries.
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. The consortium should be well balanced, which means that no participant or country can have more than 75% of the budget of the total project costs. A Eurostars project should be market-driven: it must have a maximum duration of three years, and within two years of project completion, the product of the research should be ready for launch onto the market. The exception to this rule applies to biomedical or medical projects, where clinical trials must be started within two years of project completion.