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 or 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.
Any UK-registered business claiming funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time it is confirmed you will be awarded funding. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see our general guidance.
Your project size
Eurostars will award up to 360,000 euros funding for each UK project partner or 60% of eligible project costs, whichever is the least.
In the UK, only UK-registered research-performing SMEs are eligible for funding. More than one UK SME can be involved in each project.
Each of the UK research-performing SMEs must meet one of these conditions:
- Invest 10% or more of their turnover into research
- Have 10% of their full-time equivalent staff working on research activities
- Have five or more full-time staff working on research activities if the SME has 100 or fewer employees
- Have 10 or more full-time staff working on research activities if the SME has more than 100 employees
Innovate UK will not fund any other types of organisations, including:
- Academic institutions, including universities
- Research and technology organisations (RTOs)
- Large companies
These organisations can take part but must self-fund or use funds from other sources.
You must follow the Eurostars eligibility criteria, and the Innovate UK criteria detailed in this competition at the application deadline and throughout your project:
- UK SMEs can only take part in one Eurostars project at a time.
- If any UK partner has an existing project, it must declare that all project deliverables are met. You cannot apply for new Eurostars projects until your previous projects have been completed.
- UK partners must be separate, non-linked legal entities.
- UK partners must have been trading for 12 months at the competition application deadline.
- All work must be carried out in the UK and your project costs must be incurred in the UK.
- UK subcontracting is capped at 20% of the UK partners’ total eligible costs.
- UK-led projects must be managed by a research and development (R&D) performing SME. You cannot subcontract project management.
- Your labour costs must be on a pay as you earn (PAYE) basis, following the PAYE rules below.
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
Partners from other countries
Your partners must follow the eligibility criteria of their countries’ national funding bodies.
Innovate UK have allocated up to £2.5million to fund innovation projects in this competition.
Innovate UK will not fund projects that do not have a civilian purpose.
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.