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  • Eurostars: The collaboration program you are looking for

    by Myriam de Cabo | Mar 24, 2020 | Reading time: 5 minutes | Blog

    Disclaimer: This post was written a time ago, so some details may have changed since then. We advise you to check out our services page for more information or to contact us directly through this form. Thanks! 

    What is Eurostars?

    Eurostars is a consortium-focused funding program that aims to support R&D-performing SMEs through a budget of €1.14 billion. It is co-financed by the national budget of 36 Eurostars participating countries and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding scheme. 

    The goal of this program is to promote the commercialization of innovative products, processes or services through the creation of international consortia. These consortia have to be made up of partners (legal entities) from at least 2 different countries, promoting the collaboration between regions and boosting their economic development.

    Its funding dynamics are different to other programs since they are decentralized. This means that the money doesn’t come directly from the EUREKA Secretariat nor the EU. Instead, the source of funding, its rules, and its procedures, are determined by the countries’ national project coordinators


    Eurostars in numbers

    The best way to understand the impact of any funding program is to look at the numbers. Thanks to the data collected from 2014 until 2018, Eurostars has provided very valuable information regarding its success rates, target institutions, organizational profiles, and consortium characteristics.

    If we take a look at the total participation, from 2014 to 2018 over 3.104 applications were submitted, out of which 899 got funded, putting Eurostars’ success rate at 29%. The estimated public funding received by these participants was 618M€. When it comes to leading regions in terms of projects, Germany, The Netherlands and France show the highest numbers.



    As of the organizational profiles, the main type of participants is R&D-performing SMEs and SMEs, accounting for 70% of the total. Universities are the second most common profile at 14%, followed by research institutes which account for 10% of the total. The least common of the organizational types were large companies, which represented only 6% of all participants.



    When we analyze the SME profiles we have to take into account that 64% are R&D-performing. The main technological areas in which they operate are biological sciences or technologies, electronics, IT, and telecommunications technology, and industrial manufacturing, material, and transport.

    On average, 83% of these SMEs have teams of less than 50 people, with 40% of their workforce dedicated solely to R&D activities. At the same time, these SMEs take care of around 50% of the consortium’s project workload.



    In terms of the type of partnerships developed through the implementation of the projects, the average consortium is made of 3 to 4 participants from up to 3 different countries. The average duration of the projects is around 29 months, and they tend to have an average cost of 1.4€M. 


    Eurostars and you


    Is my project eligible?

    In order to apply to this program, the chosen project must be focused on researching or developing a new product, service or process, which allows for its fast commercialization at a regional, national and international level. It is also important that the project has a civilian purpose.

    In order to ensure a reasonable timeline for the project’s implementation, Eurostars requests that 2 main deadlines are met: 

    • Once the project begins, it can’t take longer than 36 months to complete.
    • Commercialization has to be framed within 24 months of the project’s completion.

    Regarding the budget of the project, at least 50% must come from the leading SME. In the event of two or more R&D-performing SMEs working together under the same consortium, their combined budgets must equal 50% of the total as well.

    The distribution of the project’s budget must be in line with the collaborative spirit of the program. This means that neither organizations by themselves, nor partners from the same country, are allowed to provide more than 75% of the project’s budget.


    How do I choose my partners?

    If you’re considering applying to Eurostars, you should bear in mind that, as well as the strong focus on research and development, this program was designed for the establishment of new business partnerships. Therefore, the consortium and its partners will be as important as the project itself. It is important to evaluate carefully who your associates will be during this journey to stardom!

    When it comes to applicant profiles, Eurostars is open to different types of entities, but its main focus is promoting the R&D-performing SMEs’ commercial activity. This means that other types of participants such as universities or research entities are welcome to join a consortium, but this must ultimately be lead by an R&D-performing SME.

    Whether you already know who your partners will be, or if you are still searching for them, the first step of this journey will be making sure that your project doesn’t get automatically rejected. The most common cause of rejection is that one or more of the partners’ profiles don’t fit the program specifications. So before you think about getting someone on board, make sure that everyone meets the Eurostars’ eligibility guidelines!


    How can I apply?

    There are 2 cut-off dates in 2020 for Eurostars: The first one, which took place on February 13, and the second one which will take place on September 3, 2020!

    At Evolution, we can help you to develop your Eurostars proposal from the very beginning. We provide a 360º consultancy service, thanks to our team of over 50 experts in R&D projects and our network of over 600 potential partners in more than 17 different countries. 

    Are you interested in applying to Eurostars? Is the search for partners proving harder than you thought? We can help! Send us an email to info@evolutioneurope.eu and we will provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation for your project!