In an era of trade conflicts and protectionism, EUREKA has never been more important. Joint projects help us develop crucial technologies and expertise in fields such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, digital health, smart mobility, and sustainable transport systems. Working together enables us to keep up with and accelerate the ever faster innovation cycles in today’s world.
EUREKA projects continue to impact on every aspect of our daily lives, delivering solutions to the societal challenges we face. I am therefore honoured that in the year ahead the Netherlands will be chairing EUREKA, the world’s largest intergovernmental innovation cooperation network. With our open and interconnected economy, the Netherlands has always given priority to working with foreign partners. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are of particular value, playing a crucial role in translating new knowledge and ideas into everyday solutions.
However, their potential to innovate often needs support, especially in the early stages of research and development. I, therefore, aim to further strengthen EUREKA’s capabilities to connect SMEs with major industries and research institutes. This will benefit our economies, benefit our societies and benefit you.
So I am committed to continuing Eurostars after 2020. During the Netherlands’ Chairmanship, a new EUREKA Eurostars-3 programme will be designed in close cooperation with all members and the European Commission. This will create a window of opportunity to further improve the programme, review the evaluation process and make this instrument for innovative SMEs, which is already unique to the European innovation landscape, even more agile.
EUREKA Clusters have been key in stimulating strategic European industrial research and development partnerships. Over the past few decades, the Clusters have led to the successful market introduction of innovative products through cooperation between large and small companies and knowledge institutions. Changing global innovation landscapes are challenging EUREKA to develop and implement a new vision on the Clusters. Even as we take this new approach, however, one thing will remain the same: EUREKA will keep on supporting our major industries, SMEs and knowledge institutions to help find solutions to tomorrow’s global challenges.
Let’s connect, innovate and grow together.
Preparing EUREKA Eurostars-3
- Partnership with the European Commission
- Establishing the implementing guidelines
The Eureka network has the ambition to launch a Eurostars-3 programme for 2021-2028. Eurostars is a unique programme in the European Research and Innovation landscape that supports international bottom-up innovation projects, driven by innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. To date, more than €2.5 billion of public and private funding has been invested in close to 2000 excellent projects supporting 3000+ SMEs coming from 48 countries.
Under the Netherlands Chairmanship, we aim to reach an agreement between Eureka and the European Commission on Eurostars-3. With the ambition to have an enhanced Eurostars-3, with long term public financial commitments, a public budget of more than €1 billion, and a broader set of accompanying activities aligning Eurostars-3 to other national and EU programmes.
In order to realize these ambitions, leadership is needed from the Eureka High-Level Group. Also, National Funding Bodies in cooperation with the Eureka secretariat should agree on ways to harmonize, synchronize and shorten the time to contract. Under the Netherlands’ chairmanship, a Working Group will be established to establish the implementing guidelines
Revitalizing EUREKA Clusters
- Implementation of a new vision for the Clusters
- Collaborative support of thematic ecosystems
- Building on the accomplishments of the current Clusters
Eureka Clusters were set up to stimulate strategic European industrial, company driven R&D collaboration. Over the last decades, they have developed into a major intergovernmental instrument for collaborative R&D&I extending beyond European borders. Joint projects helped us in developing crucial technologies and expertise in fields such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, digital health, smart mobility and sustainable transport systems. However, the innovation landscape surrounding Clusters has changed dramatically since their inception.
The international industrial landscape has undergone a significant transformation, making this the right time to review the Cluster concept and develop a new Cluster model that is fit for the future. Based on the Eureka Clusters, there remains a role in the future for international R&D collaboration. Eureka's future thematic ecosystem programme must be based on the Eureka DNA, which is complementary to industrial partnership programmes offered by the EU (most notably ECSEL), particularly regarding its SME orientation: its bottom-up project generation, the coaching between participants in Clusters and greater involvement of national innovation agencies.
Next, to the strategic priorities, several support actions will be undertaken in close cooperation with the Eureka secretariat and the network:
- Establishing a new future proof Strategic Roadmap 2021-2027
- Support and strengthen the Globalization Strategy
- Agile network support functions such as realizing a new ICT platform and communications strategy to support both the network and project participants