European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars joint transnational call for proposals
The European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars is open for your project applications!
The European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars is a funding instrument that supports innovative SMEs and project partners (large companies, universities, research organisations and other types of organisations) by funding international collaborative R&D and innovation projects. By participating, organisations from 37 countries can access public funding for international collaborative R&D projects in all fields.
- Define your project idea
- Collaborate internationally, sharing expertise
- Develop products, processes or services that can be easily commercialised
You can submit your R&D and innovation project application between 2 September 2021 and 4 November 2021 at 14:00 CET. Your project consortium must have an innovative SME in the leading role, but it can also include other types of organisations like large companies, universities, research organisations and more.
Programme/instrument: European Partnership on Innovative SMEs/Eurostars-3.
- Belgium (Wallonia)
- Belgium (Brussels)
- Belgium (Flanders)
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
To apply, you must fulfil seven eligibility criteria:
- The project consortium is led by an innovative SME* from a European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars country**.
- The project consortium is composed by at least two entities that are independent of one another.
- The project consortium is composed by entities from at least two participating countries, with at least one organisation coming from an EU or Horizon Europe Associated Country.
- The budget of the SMEs from the participating countries (excluding any subcontracting) is 50% or more of the total project cost.
- No single participant or country is responsible for more than 70% of the budget of the project.
- The project duration is 36 months or fewer***.
- The project has an exclusive focus on civil applications.
*We define an innovative SME as any SMEs with the ambition to collaborate on R&D and innovation with international partners to develop new products, processes and services for European and global markets. Innovative SMEs do not need to have a proven track record of R&D activities.
R&D: “Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge.” (OECD Frascati Manual 2015, p. 44)
Innovation: “a new or improved product or process (or combination thereof) that differs significantly from the unit’s previous products or processes and that has been made available to potential users (product) or brought into use by the unit (process).” (OECD Oslo Manual 2018, p. 20)
**European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey and the United Kingdom.
European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars countries which are not an EU member state or a Horizon Europe Associated Country: Canada, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
***If justified, you may be permitted an extension after your project has started. This must be approved by the Independent Evaluation Panel, Eureka Secretariat and relevant national funding bodies.
Please read all our guidelines before submitting a project application. If you do not meet all our eligibility criteria, your application will be rejected.
The amount of European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars funding your organisation receives when you participate in a project is managed by your national funding body. Funding rules vary from country to country and your national funding body decides:
- which organisations can receive funding,
- which project activities can be funded and
- funding rates and thresholds.
If you are from a European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars country, you can discover what funding is available for your organisation in your country on our country-specific pages and contact your national or regional funding body using our contact form.
Organisations from non-European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars countries can participate by self-funding their project costs.
Eurostars-3 (as part of the European Partnership for Innovative SMEs) will be submitted to the European Commission as a proposal for a co-fund action under the European Innovation Ecosystem work programme 2021/22 as part of the Horizon Europe framework programme. At the time of publication, the Commission have not yet evaluated the co-fund proposal from the consortium (coordinated by the Eureka Association AISBL). If there is a positive evaluation (which is anticipated), a grant agreement and formal Commission co-funding contribution is expected for those countries eligible for EU funding, as mentioned in Horizon Europe participation rules.
Evaluation and results
The European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars has a centralised and transparent evaluation for selecting projects to receive funding.
Independent evaluators will score and rank your project application against three criteria and sub-criteria:
- Quality and efficiency of the implementation
a. Quality of the consortium
b. Added value through cooperation
c. Realistic and clearly defined project management and planning
d. Reasonable cost structure
- Impact (market and commercialisation)
a. Market size
b. Market access and risk
c. Competitive advantage
d. Clear and realistic commercialisation plans
e. Economic, environmental, and societal impact
- Excellence of innovation and R&D
a. Degree of innovation
b. New applied knowledge
c. Level of technical challenge
d. Technical achievability and risk
Results are communicated at each step:
- Eligibility check (within one week of 4 November)
- Legal and financial viability check (mid-December)
- Expert evaluation conducted by three independent experts per project (mid-December)
- Independent Evaluation Panel and ranking conducted by internationally recognised experts (early February 2022)
- Ethics review (first half of February 2022)
Applications are considered for funding if:
- They are among the best 200 projects evaluated by the remote experts which progress to the Independent Evaluation Panel.
- All project partners receive a positive Legal and Financial Viability outcome.
Evaluation and monitoring process
We will communicate whether your project will receive funding during the first half of February 2022 and the objective is that agreements with your national funding body are signed between five and seven months after the submission deadline.
If your project application was rejected and you believe this was due to a procedural mistake during the eligibility check, the legal and financial viability check or the evaluation of your application, the consortium lead can submit a redress request. A redress request can only be based on procedural grounds, with clear evidence of the reasons for complaint.
Applying to the European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars is designed to be quick and simple. In your application, you can tell us more about your organisation and the innovative new product, process or service you plan to develop.
1. Contact your national or regional funding body using the form below to discuss your project idea, funding in your country, legal and financial viability and eligibility.
2. Create an account on our project platform to open a new application. The innovative SME leading your consortium must open your application and invite the other partners to collaborate on the online application form.
3. On the platform, complete the application form (in English) and submit it electronically. The portal allows you to save, revisit and edit your application form before you submit it, giving you time to confirm all information is correct.
4. Upload annexes by attaching them to your online application form. You must complete and upload:
- a signed commitment and signature form
- (if you are an SME) an SME declaration
Depending on what country you are based in, you may need to add a financial annex:
- financial reports
- (if you are a startup) a business plan
Contact your national funding body to discuss which documents you need to provide. If you are an organisation that is 100% publicly funded, you will not have to provide a financial annex.
You can also include annexes to support your project application:
- a technical annex (related to the project)
- a Gantt chart
5. Submit your completed application form before the deadline.
For detailed information about applying to our European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars programme, go to our guidelines.
Please note: Your national or regional funding body may need you to complete additional steps to apply to European Partnership on Innovative SMEs / Eurostars. If you do not provide the information required by your national or regional funding body, you may render yourself ineligible to receive public funding.