Master the Eurostars online portal like a pro
27th January 2022 at 5:13 pm
The first submission deadline for Eurostars 3 project applications this year, the joint transnational call for proposals MAR 2022 published on 21 January 2022 by the EUREKA Secretariat, is on 24 March 2022. Now it is to time to get started on checking out the requirements and especially the web portal through which applicants need to submit their project proposal. Having followed our previous blog on the first steps towards a successful EUREKA Eurostars application, you can now set out to master Eurostars’ online application portal with the guidelines at hand and your project idea in mind.
Overview of the application process
You start by registering your project online and fill in the project details to give an overview of your project.
Proceed to the application questions – the heart of the application so to speak – that contains a wide set of questions you’ll need to answer related to the impact of your product or service developed within the project, your method and approach, and the management of the project as such. Each project partner then has to fill in further questions individually on their organisation and motivation to participate in this project. The Work Packages entail the detailed tasks and outcomes of your work within the project, and you’ll have the possibility to upload additional annexes as pdf documents to further strengthen and visualise your answers from the other sections.
If you have marked all sections of the application as completed and reviewed your application, you are ready to submit it.
Create an account to register your project
Start your application process by creating an account on the EUREKA Project Management Platform (EPMP). A detailed guide on the EPMP can be found here.
As the person registering the proposal, you automatically become the lead applicant – you can change this later to another project partner if needed; keep in mind though that the main partner, namely the project leader, has to be an innovative SME. You can then invite additional project partners to the application to build your application team. Throughout the application process, you can assign sections to the individual partner organisations in your project consortium.
The invited partner will receive an invitation to the project via email and has to click on “Review invite” in order to accept the invitation and create an account as well. Once you and your partner organisation(s) have entered your organisation and contact details it is time to start the project application.
Here you will introduce your planned project. This part should be short and concise. Make sure that already your project title is attractive and informative before you describe what you will deliver, what your motivation is, and how you plan to make money with the service or product you develop. You can also exclude entities or people from the evaluation of your application to avoid any conflict of interest.
accelopment tip 1
We advise you to draft these essential questions at the beginning and then update and finalise them once your application is well-advanced. This way your answers will be more precise and accurate. Download the application form in Word format provided by EUREKA to draft your proposal offline.
After catching the evaluators attention with a concise and interesting project pitch, you will include here in-depth information on your project. The score of your project in the evaluation mainly depends on this section.
IMPACT (Section 1-6)
In the impact section you start by describing your product or service developed in the project and its main results. You then have to describe your business case, as Eurostars is focused on supporting projects that are already close to market and helping you to rapidly commercialise your innovative product or service. Keep in mind that the aim of Eurostars is to bring increased value to the economy, higher growth and more job opportunities. Your project duration should not exceed 36 months and market introduction take place no more than 24 months after the end of your project.
You should not only know your market and competitors but have a clear strategy on how to introduce your product or service to the market, how to grow your company and how to impact the targeted market or even create a new one. Furthermore, Eurostars funding does not cover all elements in the product development cycle. How much of your total eligible costs will be actually funded by the programme depends on your country and type of organisation. For example, a Swiss SME will get 50% of their project costs funded and a maximum of EUR 500,000 for all Swiss partners involved in the project. Make sure you are able to finance the remaining percentage of your costs in the project and quantify not only the finances invested to date, but also future investments required for commercialisation.
An aspect new to Eurostars 3 is its focus on sustainability, the environment, and society’s well-being. Your project should contribute to one or more of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, for example Gender Equality, Climate Action, or Affordable and Clean Energy.
accelopment tip 2
Always make sure to stick to the character limits. You cannot go over, because the online forms will just cut your text, but you should also make good use of the characters given and provide a comprehensive, detailed answer if there is space to do so.
EXCELLENCE (Section 7-9)
Whereas the previous sections cover any market-related question on your project, this section focuses on your technical achievability and innovativeness. Explain your method or approach and how your project will lead to a breakthrough innovation. Describe the state of the art of the technology and market area of your project, including the latest technological and scientific developments and why your solution is better than existing ones of your competitors and/or why it is novel. Assess what the technical risks and challenges of your approach are and how you plan to mitigate and tackle these.
QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY (Sections 10-12)
The main partner as the project leader should have sufficient experience in project management, as in this section they will not only have to detail their experience but also state how they intend to lead the project. While each partner will later need to describe their reasons to participate in this project individually, the benefit of the international collaboration overall will be described in section 11. Section 12 covers the Intellectual Property Rights strategy of the project, existing knowledge, and the distribution of project results.
accelopment tip 3
The online forms do not allow much formatting or any images. Use CAPITALS for headings or to highlight important information.
CIVILIAN PURPOSE (Section 13)
Quick win – you only need to be able to answer one question (preferably with yes!), namely: Does the project have an exclusive focus on civil application?
ETHICS (Section 14)
Fill in and upload the Ethics Issues Table. This will show that you have completed the ethics self-assessment and help you to ensure that your proposal is compliant with applicable international, European Union, and national law. If you have entered any issues in the ethics issue table, describe how they are linked to the objectives, methodology, and impact of your project.
While sections 1-14 are completed for the project as a whole, this section must be completed for each participant individually. You need to demonstrate what each partner contributes to the project but also how they benefit from it. The financial information given here will not be visible to other project partners, not even after submission.
Don’t forget about the mandatory financial annex. For the financial annex, each participant will have to upload their annual financial reports of the past two years or their business plan if they are a start-up and do not have any annual financial reports yet.
The declarations include the Commitment and signature form, a legal document that must be completed and signed by a person that has all required authorisation to act as a legal representative of your organisation. This form will be checked at national level. The second declaration that must be uploaded to the application is the SME declaration, which shows that your organisation qualifies as SME.
To implement your project effectively and efficiently, it will be divided into several work packages (WP). Each WP has its own objectives but is nonetheless related to preceding or subsequent ones and contributes towards the overall objectives of the project. Define a clear timeline for each WP and describe the tasks that will be undertaken, the expected results and milestones reached on the way. Take the opportunity to include a GANTT chart in your application to visualise the timeline and connections of the different WPs and tasks. Furthermore, you need to calculate the costs for each participant by work package and the total cost of the work package.
Although the technical annex is non-mandatory, it is highly recommended to include one to strengthen your application. However, make sure all core information is included in the application forms and the annexes only provide additional information and visualisations.
accelopment tip 4
We highly recommend you to create a technical annex, which you will be able to upload as a pdf to the application. In this annex you can include tables, images and charts. This gives you the possibility to refer to said annex in the application form and really stand out from other applicants.
Support for Eurostars applicants by accelopment
We offer you and your project partner(s) hands-on support throughout the whole application process, from helping you on defining your work plan to advising you on the project budget. We are eager to help you convince the evaluators of your innovation project.
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 the awarded OPTO-BRAIN, MAXCOAT, NoCaTS, sus@pension, MiniLib, RETWood, FP-Catheter, and most recently AirToxMonitor.