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Eureka Eurostars 2: Round 12


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

This competition is aimed at small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 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-led 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 product, process or service.

Projects must be led by a research-performing SME.

Open Date:


Close Date:


Eurostars is a European funding programme dedicated to supporting R&D performing SMEs in innovative R&D projects.

It has a market-driven approach, which gives companies full control over project content. It also supports collaborative research and innovation projects that can go to market two years after the project finishes.

You can apply for Eurostars funding for any sector and industry. It can address any technological area but must be aimed at the development of a new product, process or service.

Your project must have a civilian purpose. It cannot have a military purpose.

Eurostars will award up to €360,000 funding for each UK project partner or 60% of eligible project costs, whichever is the least.

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

Your partners must follow the eligibility criteria of their countries’ national funding bodies.

You must follow:

  1. UK SMEs can only take part in one Eurostars project at a time
  2. If you have an existing project, the UK partner must declare that all project deliverables are met. You cannot apply for other Eurostars project until previous projects have been completed
  3. UK partners must be separate, non-linked legal entities
  4. UK partners must have been trading for 12 months at the competition application deadline
  5. All work must be carried out in the UK and your project costs must be incurred in the UK
  6. UK subcontracting is capped at 20% of the UK partner eligible costs
  7. UK-led projects must be managed by a research and development (R&D) performing SME. Project management cannot be subcontracted
  8. Your labour costs must be on a pay as you earn (PAYE) basis, following the PAYE rules below

PAYE rules

If you do not currently operate a company PAYE scheme and are working directly on the project, you can include your labour as an eligible cost. This must be in line with the European Commission policy and meet the following conditions:

  • Your labour costs must be calculated using a maximum of 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, 40 hours per week and £22 per hour
  • Your costs must be recorded through the business accounts
  • Your project time must be supported by timesheets and project records

Innovate UK have allocated up to £2.5million to fund innovation projects in this competition.

Innovate UK will not fund:

  • Academics, including universities
  • Research and technology organisations (RTOs)
  • Large companies
  • Projects that do not have a civilian purpose

These organisations can take part but must self-fund or use funds from other sources.

Cresco Innovation works with companies to develop and implement innovation strategies. We help client companies identify opportunities to develop new products and services, and then create a package of support to ensure that the idea is turned into a commercial reality.

Our services include securing grants (as a team we have raised around £40million over three years), business planning, IP advice, access to finance and funders, project management and IP commercialisation support.

We regularly act as the interface with the funding bodies and help clients ensure that their projects are properly managed to ensure the best outcome for all.

Call to find out more

If you’d like to know more about this competition, please give us a call on 01509 261182 and one of our team will be delighted to help you access this funding opportunity for your business.