35 years of innovation beyond borders

In 1985, visionary politicians and policymakers came together with a seemingly simple idea: to mobilise the huge innovative potential of European businesses and academia through public support and promotion of cross border collaboration in applied R&D.

Thirty-five years and 7,500 R&D projects later, their brainchild lives on - and is more relevant than ever. It is called Eureka.

Eureka’s birthday week celebrates those great visionaries, and the international collaborative projects and 48 billion euro of public-private investment that their vision has so far spawned.

But it is also an opportunity to look to the future, to a new Eureka - and to the crucial role it has to play in the emerging European Innovation Area.

35 years eureka logo

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Each day over a week, we’ll be hearing from modern-day visionaries in government and industry, from Eureka’s founding countries, but also Asia, Africa and the Americas, as our global strategy opens the network to the world.

Stay tuned at 12:00 noon everyday!

Tomorrow is the future. The past is history.

"There’s a way to do it better. Find it.” (Thomas Edison)

In 1985, the founding countries of Eureka had a mission – to secure the Independence of Europe in the key technologies of the future. Promoting collaboration between business and academia. Mobilising public funds. Supporting the engagement of enterprises through the creation of an environment conducive to cooperation between partners in European internal markets.

Today, a New Eureka plays an even more crucial role; by helping Europe and the world rebound and rebuild following the COVID-19 pandemic. How? By leveraging the research and innovation excellence Eureka helps nurture into jobs, products and services, which strengthen societies and economies everywhere.


  • Henrietta Egerth - Managing Director - Austrian Research Promotion Agency
  • Wolf-Dieter Lukas - State Secretary - Federal Ministry of Education and Research - Germany
  • Margarete Schramböck - Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs - Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs - Austria
  • Clemens Zielonka - Managing Director Eureka Secretariat

Why does Europe need an innovation area?

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” (Albert Einstein)

Our Chairman, Ulrich Schuh, asks Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth to reflect on her ambitions for the creation of a European Innovation Area (EIA).

What is the EIA and does Commissioner Gabriel see Eureka’s role within it? What support can Eureka countries offer? And what is the way forward?

And we hear from Manuel Heitor, Portugal’s Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education how his country’s dedication to supporting R&D led to the decision to once again assume the Chairmanship of Eureka later this year. And Miguel Belló, the incoming Eureka Chairman, will present the programme and priorities of the Portuguese Chairmanship.


  • Miguel Belló - Eureka Chairman 2021/22 - Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre) - Portugal
  • Maryia Gabriel - Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth - European Commission
  • Manuel Heitor - Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education - Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education - Portugal
  • Ulrich Schuh - Eureka Chairman 2020/21 - Austrian Research Promotion Agency

And Eureka’s role in the EIA? The case for Eurostars.

“It takes two flints to make a fire.” (Louisa May Alcott)

The latest edition of the Eurostars Programme, dedicated to innovative SMES, has been recognised a ‘vital’ to the European Innovation Ecosystems part of Horizon Europe.

Eurostars will be the only public-to-public partnership in Horizon Europe and brings with it an impressive cash leverage ratio of 1:3 (EU versus national funds). In terms of public and private resources mobilised by the partnership, the ratio is much higher (1:7 EU funds against combined national public and private investment).

Research SME champion and former European Parliamentarian Paul Rübig was one of the fathers of Eurostars, helping steer Eureka’s small but ambitious idea through the co-decision process. We also hear why Czech and Hungarian governments have decided to invest in this next edition of the programme.


  • József Bódis - Minister of State for Higher Education, Innovation and Vocational Education and Training - Ministry for Innovation and Technology - Hungary
  • Peter Chisnall - Chief Strategy Officer - Eureka Secretariat
  • Pavel Doleček - Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Research - Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports - Czech Republic
  • Paul Rübig - Former MEP, Member of the EESC, Member of the Governing Board of the EIT

Eureka and industrial policy

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

One of Eureka‘s long-term funding instruments are the Clusters, an industry-led intergovernmental initiative to support strategically important thematic R&D&I communities in close cooperation with national public authorities.

Eureka Clusters are mid- to long-term ecosystems of large industry, SMEs, RTOs and academia that collaborate to bring the next generation of new products and services to the market. The thematic communities united in the Eureka Clusters Programme, work in close cooperation with national public authorities, to create economic strength and societal benefit for the countries involved.

Today we hear from Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands, Sivasegaram Manimaaran, Chairman of the Public Authority Committee and Reinhard Ploss, Chairman of the Clusters Committee on the lead Eureka has always taken in putting industry in the driving seat of RD&I. They tell us about the importance and complementarity of the programme, which key elements need to be addressed to go ahead with this Eureka success story and how we can better engage citizens in the innovation process.


  • Mona Keijzer - State Secretary - Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy - The Netherlands
  • Sivasegaram Manimaaran - Chairman of the Public Authority Committee - Eureka Cluster Programme - Head of Europe and Global Strategy, Innovate UK
  • Reinhard Ploss - Chairman of the Cluster Committee - Eureka Cluster Programme - Chief Executive Officer, Infineon Technologies AG
  • Frans Verkaart - Chief Operations Officer - Eureka Secretariat

Eureka goes global - Why is R&I cooperation with partners in countries outside Europe so important?

“Every step we take on earth brings us to a new world.” (Federico García Lorca)

Can Europe realistically expect to achieve its strategic goals in domains such as climate change, health, food, energy and water, without the involvement of China and the USA?

Partner and associated countries are the closest form of cooperation Eureka has outside of Europe, with a foot in every continent. The recent Globalstars initiative, enabling countries outside of the network such as India, Japan and Singapore, to participate in multilateral calls for projects, is seen as an opportunity for new countries – and for Eureka – to ‘test the water’ for possible future association.

Today, our global partners talk about the opportunities and challenges that their companies have encountered working with European counterparts.

We hear from the UK Minister for Science, Research and Innovation and senior representatives of Eureka funding bodies from Canada, Switzerland and Korea.


  • Mitch Davies - President - National Research Council of Canada 
  • Annalise Eggimann - CEO - Innosuisse – Swiss Innovation Agency
  • Yeong Cheol Seok - President - Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology
  • Ines Marinkovic - Eureka NPC Chairwoman 2020/21 - Austrian Research Promotion Agency
  • Amanda Solloway - Minister for Science, Research and Innovation - Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy - UK