Eligibility criteria

The Eurostars programme has eligibility criteria in place to ensure that national funding is allocated to collaborative international R&D projects working on a marketable product, process or service. If your Eurostars project proposal does not meet all our eligibility criteria, your application will be rejected.

Eurostars helps SMEs

Eurostars is primarily a programme for R&D-performing SMEs. This does not exclude the participation of universities or research organisations in a project, but the main project partner must be an R&D-performing SME.

In addition, at least 50% of your total project budget (excluding subcontracting) must come from the SME. If there is more than one R&D-performing SME in the consortium, their combined budgets must equal at least 50% of your total project budget.

What is R&D performing SME

To qualify as an R&D-performing SME an organisation must first comply with the EC definition of an SME.In addition, it must also meet the thresholds for dedicated R&D FTEs or turnover set by EUREKA.

SMEs with a headcount of 100 FTE employees or fewer must:

  • have at least 5.0 FTEs dedicated to R&D activities
  • or dedicate at least 10.00% of their FTE to R&D activities
  • or dedicate at least 10.00% of their turnover to R&D activities

SMEs with a headcount of more than 100 FTE employees must:

  • have at least 10.0 FTEs dedicated to R&D activities
  • or dedicate at least 10.00% of their FTE to R&D activities
  • or dedicate at least 10.00% of their turnover to R&D activities.

Eurostars inspires collaboration

Your project consortium must have partners (independent legal entities) based in at least two different countries participating in the Eurostars programme.

The overall project budget must also reflect the collaborative nature of the Eurostars programme:

  • No single organisation can be responsible for providing more than 75% of the total project budget
  • No participants from any one country can be responsible for providing more than 75% of the total project budget

Eurostars results in commercialisation

Your Eurostars project must research or develop new products, processes or services with commercialisation in mind. To encourage progress towards commercialisation, the Eurostars programme sets deadlines:

  • Projects must be completed less than 36 months after the project start date
  • Market introduction (or the start of clinical trials) must be planned within 24 months of the project’s completion

Other legal requirements

  • Your project must have a civilian purpose
  • None of the participants have convictions for fraudulent behaviour or illegal practices
  • None of the participants have been declared bankrupt

National criteria

CDTI has additional national criteria for projects to be eligible to receive funding: 

  • Projects involving Spanish participants that were submitted for the September 2020 deadline must be finished by 31 January 2024 at the latest (including any extensions made during the project execution). 
  • Restrictions based on the EU framework for aid for research, development and innovation and the Spanish Law for Subventions will be applied. 
  • Costs incurred by Spanish companies before submitting a national funding application will not be eligible for public funding. As a result, Spanish participants must not begin project activities until five to six months following the Eurostars deadline. Do not hesitate to contact CDTI to check the feasibility of your project start date. 

The next steps

We advise all Eurostars applicants to read the complete guidelines before submitting their project application.

Go to the guidelines

We also recommend Eurostars applicants check their financial viability. This tool indicates whether you have the financial basis you need to apply to the programme. 

Check your financial viability

Contact your funding body