Eurostars is a joint programme between EUREKA and the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) that aims to foster and fund collaborative research and development projects between companies in member states.  Ireland is a participating country in Eurostars and Enterprise Ireland supports Irish SMEs to get involved.

SMEs looking to partner with one or more companies in Europe on close-to-market R&D projects can apply to Eurostars Programme for research funding for the collaborative project.  Eurostars stimulates SMEs to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects by easing access to support and funding. A Eurostars project must be carried out by a consortium involving at least 2 partners from two Eurostars participating countries.

The project life cycle must be short (max. 3 years) and the product of the research should be ready for the market within two years of the project’s completion.  A typical Eurostars project has a total value of Eur1.5 million and may involve SME participants, a larger company and perhaps a research institute or university.

ELIGIBILITY: Companies are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

•    Are an SME that is currently performing R&D in your company (R&D expenditure of 10% of turnover) and
•    Have identified one or more companies in another country to collaborate with.

Researchers in HEIs are eligible for funding if there is an Irish industrial partner also participating in the consortium.

FUNDING: SMEs can receive up to 50% of their costs of participating in the project. The 50% funding contribution is made up of both National and EU funds (75% national funding and 25% European Commission funding).

For researchers in HEIs, 100% funding up to a maximum of €250,000 can be provided to cover additional research costs.