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Eurostars: First funding opportunity for innovative SMEs in 2021

26th November 2020 at 4:44 pm

The seven-year period of all EU funding programmes is coming to an end. For most of these programmes, including the worldwide largest EU Framework Programme for research and innovation Horizon Europe, we are waiting for additional information, the first calls for proposals and the first proposal submission deadlines.

EUREKA-Eurostars is however one of the exceptions as the participating countries have issued an additional cut-off, still under Horizon 2020 and EUREKA-Eurostars 2. The rules of this funding scheme are therefore already known and the first submission deadline is planned for early February 2021.

This is particularly good news for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are in need of investors and financial support to continue their research and development (R&D) activities in times when the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many companies throughout Europe. Indeed, investors are difficult to attract these days and many SMEs are experiencing financial constraints. Non-repayable grants can help companies to overcome such challenges.

What is Eurostars?

Eurostars is targeted to innovative SMEs from a total of 36 EUREKA countries that are all co-funding this programme. The Eurostars countries include most of the EU Member States, other European countries such as Switzerland, and even some non-European countries like Israel, Canada and South Korea. Each of these “Eurostars countries” has its own funding coverage policy for SMEs and other types of participants.

Its basic rules are however fairly straight forward:

Based on our past submissions, we know that a project application can be prepared within a few weeks and would allow companies to prepare a competitive grant application in January 2021. This holds especially true for experienced applicants or for SMEs getting external support.

Hence, if you have 1) an innovative product or service idea or are already engaged in the development process and 2) one or more project partners, ideally also SMEs even though larger companies and research institutions are also eligible, it is worth looking into Eurostars.

One more reason to apply to Eurostars is the overall success rates (29%), which is way higher than the EIC accelerator, formerly called SME Instrument, (< 5%) in Horizon 2020 and its successor programme in the upcoming Horizon Europe.

With a successful application in early February 2021, your project would start in summer or autumn 2021. If this timeline fits your strategy, you can check with us whether your project idea stands a realistic chance of success.

Eurostars with accelopment

Our many years of proposal writing allow us to support you throughout your application process, facilitate communication with your project partners and manage your application in the Eurostars online platform. We have been involved in several successful Eurostars applications in the past, such as OPTO-BRAIN, MAXCOAT, NoCaTS, sus@pension and MiniLib and most recently RETWood and FP-Catheter.

For more information about the Eurostars programme, please contact our experts below:

Dr. Johannes Ripperger
Energy & Materials
Dr. Jeanette Müller
Life Sciences