Eurostars – fast track to market for SMEs
Written by Jane Ogilvie

There are a variety of funding opportunities available to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Eurostars is one such funding program that operates across different countries with a focus to support research and development (R&D) performing SMEs. It is co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program and through funds made available in Eurostars participating states and partner countries

Some facts and figures ...

The average success rate of Eurostars applications is 23%.
Almost 800 projects have been funded since 2007 totalling an estimated €465 million.
Funding between 2014 and 2020 totals €1.148 billion with 75% coming from Eurostars participating states and partner countries and 25% from the EU contribution.
Areas funded include ICT, industry, biotechnology/medical, energy, environmental, transport, construction, consumer/services. Examples can be seen here
The typical project has 3 to 4 partners in 2 to 3 countries, is of 31 month duration and receives €1.4 million.
Time from application to project start is usually at least 5 months.

The simple stuff

  • Projects funded by Eurostars must develop a new product/process/service. This can be based on any technology for any market.
  • The lead partner must be an R&D performing SME.
  • Projects must involve at least 2 independent participants (legal entities) from 2 different Eurostars participating states or partner countries.
  • Any type of organisation (eg, SMEs, large company, university, hospital, research organisation) can be part of a Eurostars consortium.
  • Each project has a maximum duration of 3 years.
  • Within 2 years of project completion, the product of the research should be ready for launch onto the market.

The complex stuff (that Euram can support or take care of for you) ...

Despite their complexity, applications to this funding instrument have a relatively high success rate compared with other funding instruments. Euram can work with you and your partners to:

  • Establish that the lead R&D performing SME meets eligibility requirements (headcount, the % or number of full time equivalent staff or turnover dedicated to R&D).
  • Consider the eligibility criteria for Eurostars - more information on these criteria can be found here
  • Determine the funding availability for the chosen Eurostars partners. The amount of funding available depends on the type and location of each organisation. As Eurostars projects are funded through national funding schemes, the amount of funding and the costs that are eligible for funding differ between Eurostars participating states and partner countries.
  • Generation of your application, budget and annexes, completion of the paperwork and collection of information and documents from your partners to be submission ready.

There are 2 cut-off dates per year. The next cut-off deadline is the 15th of September 2016 at 20:00 Central European Time. Within 4 months of the cut-off deadline, the list of projects which have been ‘approved’ or earmarked for funding will be released.

If you would like help or guidance with making a Eurostars application, please contact the Euram team at and we would be happy to help!