Innovative SMEs can apply for a share of £2.5 million to collaborate in research with partners across Europe and associated countries. 

This competition is aimed at small or medium sized enterprises working on high-quality research and development (R&D) projects across national borders. These enterprises often find it difficult to attract public-sector funding. EUREKA Eurostars was set up to overcome this barrier to innovation.

With its market-let approach, it encourages international collaborative research and innovation projects that will be rapidly commercialised.

Eurostars supports SMEs in leading international collaborative research and innovation projects by helping them get access to guidance and funding.

A Eurostars project must have a civilian purpose and be aimed at the development of a new project, process or service.

Who can apply?

In the UK, only SMEs are eligible for funding. The project must be led by a research-performing SME, one that:

  • invests 10% or more of its turnover into research, or
  • has 10% of its full-time equivalent staff working on research activities, or
  • has 5 or more full-time staff working on research activities, if the SME has 100 or fewer employees, or
  • has 10 or more full-time staff working on research activities, if the SME has more than 100 employees

You must follow:

  • the Eurostars eligibility criteria and
  • these Innovate UK criteria at the competition application deadline throughout your project:
  1. UK SMEs can only take part in one Eurostars project at a time
  2. If you have an existing project, your final project report on it must have been accepted by the Eurostars secretariat before the application deadline for this competition. You can apply for other Innovate UK funding without this restriction
  3. UK partners must be separate, non-linked legal entities
  4. UK partners must be a legal entity and have been trading for 12 months at the competition application deadline
  5. All works must be carried out in the UK and your project costs must be incurred in the UK
  6. Your labour costs must be on a pay as you warn (PAYE) basis
  7. UK subcontracting is capped at 20% of the UK partner eligible costs
  8. UK-led projects must be managed by an R&D performing SME. Project management cannot be subcontracted

To find out more about this funding stream, please visit the Innovate UK website using the link provided on the right hand side.