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Eureka Eurostars 3: Call 1


UK-registered SMEs can apply for a share of up to £2.5million to develop collaborative research in partnership with organisations from participating Eureka Eurostars member countries.

This competition is for UK micro, small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to apply to the Eurostars Programme 3, call 1.

Please visit the Eureka call for proposals web page.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £2.5million to fund collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects focused on industrial research.

Your project must have high market potential and develop at least one of the following:

  • Innovative products
  • Technology-based applications
  • Technology-based services

UK applicants can apply for total grant of up to €360,000 for each UK project partner or 60% of eligible project costs, whichever is the least.

Open Date:


Close Date:


Your collaborative research and development (R&D) proposal must demonstrate:

  • A clear game-changing or disruptive innovative idea leading to new products, processes or services
  • A strong and deliverable business plan that addresses (and documents) market potential and needs
  • Sound, practical financial plans and timelines
  • Good value for money, which will always be a consideration in Innovate UK funding decisions
  • A clear, evidence-based plan to deliver significant economic impact, return on investment (ROI) and growth through commercialisation, as soon as possible after project completion
  • clear, considerable potential to significantly benefit the UK economy and/or national productivity
  • The benefit of participants from the countries working together and how this adds value
  • A clear definition of where intellectual property (IP) can be used and shared between the participants and countries
  • A clear route to market within two years of project completion or the commencement of clinical trials if applicable

State aid

Any UK-registered SME requesting grant funding must be eligible to receive state aid at the time of application. If you are unsure please take legal advice. For further information see the general guidance.

Your project

To apply, you must fulfil seven eligibility criteria:

  1. Your consortium is led by an innovative SME from a Eurostars country
  2. Your consortium includes at least two independent entities
  3. Your consortium includes entities from at least two Eurostars countries, the entities concerned must be independent from each other
  4. The budget of the SME(s) from a Eurostars country, excluding subcontracting, is 50% or more of the total project cost
  5. No single participant or country is responsible for more than 70% of the project budget
  6. The project duration is 36 months or less
  7. The project has an exclusively civilian purpose

UK-registered SMEs can apply for total grant of up to €360,000 for each eligible UK project partner or 60% of total eligible project costs, whichever is the least.

Your project can last up to 36 months.

Your project start date depends on the national funding procedures of the Eureka Eurostars members involved in the selected projects.

Projects must be collaborative.

Eureka terminology and roles

The terminology differs between Eureka and Innovate UK. In the Innovate UK application the ‘project lead’ is responsible for the entire project but Eureka uses the term ‘main participant’. For partners in the collaboration Eureka uses ‘other participants’.

UK organisations

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)
  • Charities
  • Large businesses

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 eligibility criteria detailed in this competition at the application deadline and throughout your project:

  1. UK SMEs can only take part in one Eurostars project at a time
  2. 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
  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 UK funded 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 partners’ total eligible costs
  7. UK-led projects must be managed by a research and development (R&D) performing SME. You cannot subcontract project management
  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

Overall Eurostars project team

The organisations from participating Eurostars countries must meet the funding and eligibility conditions of their respective national funding bodies. These will be published on the Eureka call for proposals web page when this competition opens. These organisations must apply through their own funding bodies and not through the Innovation Funding Service.

Each partner must carry out all of their funded work within the Eurostars member from which they receive funding, for example the UK for Innovate UK funding. Any work which you wish to carry out, outside of the UK, must be authorised by Innovate UK prior to your project starting, if you are in receipt of funding.

Your project must be a genuine collaboration between partners and participating Eurostars country members. No one partner, or partners from a single participating Eurostars country member, can be responsible for more than 70% of the total eligible project costs.

UK project team

The UK applicant can also collaborate with:

  • Other UK registered businesses of any size
  • UK-registered research organisations


Subcontractors are allowed in this competition, but they must not account for more than 20% of the UK partners’ total eligible costs. Subcontractors can be from anywhere in the UK. Where subcontractors are non-UK based, please justify why you are unable to use a UK alternative.

Project Management roles cannot be included within subcontracting costs. This must be carried out in house.

Innovate UK would expect subcontractor costs to be justified and appropriate to the total eligible project costs.

Previous applications

You can use a previously submitted application to apply for this competition.

Innovate UK will not award you funding if you have:

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

You could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • Up to 60% if you are a micro or small business
  • Up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business

This competition provides state aid funding under article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER). It is your responsibility to make sure that your organisation is eligible to receive state aid.

Innovate UK will not fund projects that:

  • Work on non-civilian purposes
  • Are not in scope
  • Do not meet Innovate UK’s and Eurostars eligibility criteria
  • Do not submit all mandatory documentation

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.