EuroStars Funding Programm

Discover the Eurostars funding programme, eligibility requirements and how to apply

What is the Eurostars funding programme?

Eurostars is a joint programme supporting R&D performing SMEs. It is co-funded from the national budgets of 36 Eurostars countries and the European Union through Horizon 2020. Participating countries earmark funds for their participants following national funding rules and procedures.

Eurostars is the largest international funding programme for SMEs wishing to collaborate on R&D projects that create innovative products, processes or services for commercialisation. 

What is the goal? 

Eurostars has been carefully developed to meet the specific needs of SMEs. With its bottom-up approach, it stimulates international collaborative research and innovation projects that will be rapidly commercialised.

Eurostars funding is for collaboration on market-driven R&D projects, working alongside like-minded partners and growing your organization.

How does Eurostars funding work?

Eurostars is part of the European Partnership for Innovative Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The partnership is co-funded by the European Union through Horizon Europe

Eurostars is primarily aimed at innovative small and medium-sized companies that are part of international project. It is possible to apply for funding for the development of market-oriented processes, products and services. Through international cooperation and European partnership, Eurostars provides access to new knowledge, collaborations and opportunities to test new markets.

Eurostars is an SME-driven programme and collaboration between 36 countries. In order to apply for Eurostars, the project must consist of at least two participating countries and the project coordinator must be an SME.

Different countries have different funding and application rules. These rules only apply to project parties from that country. There are also a number of international formal eligibility requirements that apply to everyone. The participants in a Eurostars project need to check that each participant meets their national eligibility requirements and that all parties meet the common requirements before they apply.

On average, it usually opens two offers per year. The consortium submits its Eurostars grant writing application jointly through Eurostar’s website. After a project submits its proposal, the proposal goes through an international assessment process.

If the project is approved for funding, it is the respective country’s national financier who pays out funds to that country’s participants.

Grant amount

Funding level vary per country. However, as a rule of thumb:

  • Small and medium-sized companies according to the EU’s definition can apply for funding for 50 percent of their costs.
  • Large companies can apply for funding for 30 percent of their costs.
  • Universities, university colleges, research institutes or the public sector seek funding for 70 percent of their costs.

Maximum duration of project

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

Eligibility Criteria

You can apply for funding for close-to-market research and innovation projects in all areas of technology. Your project must lead to the market introduction of a product, service or process no later than two years after the end of project. Project within life science may make exceptions for clinical studies. The projects can last for a maximum of three years and must be a collaboration between at least two Eurostars countries.

Project partners can be SMEs, universities and research centres from any of the programme’s 36 participating countries. Organisations in non-participating countries can still join a Eurostars consortium if there are two members from different participating countries.

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. See full eligibility guidelines.

The evaluation and allocation process

After the submission deadline, all applications are evaluated in a centralised process managed by the Eureka Secretariat. The Eurostars grant writing evaluation process (from submission deadline to finalisation of the funding contract) is completed within four to seven months.

Eurostars and Innovation Manager

Get in touch to find out how we can help you write a proposal that wins Eurostars funding.