News archive - Commission adopts EUROSTARS programme for R&D performing SMEs

The EUROSTARS programme, which was endoresed by the European Commission, will aim to stimulate European entrepreneurship by funding small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) engaged in research and development (R&D) and supporting their bids to lead international collaborative R&D and innovation projects. The EUROSTARS Programme will be officially launched in Brussels on October 2, 2007 and will have a first application cut-off date of December 3, 2007.

As a joint programme bringing together the EU and the intergovernmental EUREKA initiative, EUROSTARS will begin its funding activities in 2007 with a budget of 800 million euros over its first six years.

In addition to an EU contribution of 100 million euros, 22 EU Member states and five countries associated to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) will jointly contribute another 300 million euros. In turn, the private sector will mobilise up to 400 million euros to support European R&D performing SMEs.

Through EUROSTARS, the participating countries will pool their national programmes and research funding in favour of SMEs, resulting in a better and more efficient use of funds.

'EUROSTARS brings a new level of cooperation and integration between Community and national research programmes,' said EU Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik.

'Creating strong links between public and private funding, EUROSTARS will give a boost to R&D performing SMEs, allowing them to collaborate with the best research teams in Europe, and to transform new ideas into successful businesses. It is an illustration of the European Research Area at work,' he added.

As SMEs provide 75 million jobs and account for 99% of all businesses in Europe, they are seen as playing a crucial role in the bid to meet the targets of the renewed Lisbon partnership for growth and jobs.

The EUROSTARS programme will offer funding to those SMEs with less than 250 employees who invest at least 10% of their annual turnover in R&D activities. These activities will have to involve multi-partner, multi-national projects which are led by SMEs, but open to other types of participants such as universities, research organisations and large companies. They will also have to target market-oriented research and development, aimed at short to medium term commercial results.

Further information:

Source: CORDIS, RCN 28336, based on Commission press release IP/07/1313

Entry created by Elke Dall on September 15, 2007
Modified on September 16, 2007